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Title: The Caribbean in translation : remapping thresholds of dislocation
Author: Saint-Loubert, Laëtitia
ISNI:       0000 0004 7227 9231
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis aims to investigate how works by Anglophone, Francophone and Hispanophone Caribbean writers circulate in translation. The texts under study include allographic translations as well as cases of self-translation. Caribbean texts and their translations are analysed through the prism of the threshold, which offers a multi-faceted entry point into key themes and aspects of Caribbean literature as well as into translational strategies. When discovering the Caribbean in and through translation, readers experience the crossing of multiple thresholds, be they topographical, cultural, linguistic or imaginary. The dual nature of the threshold, which both opens into and signals a limit, heralds movement and continuity on the one hand, but also invokes potential resistance on the other hand. Departing from the semiotic approach adopted by Genette in his seminal study on paratexts as ‘thresholds of interpretation’, this work seeks to examine thresholds as strategic sites of negotiation for translators. Their visibility, in particular, is associated with forms of trespassing that tease out the concepts of authority and originality. When it comes to Caribbean writing, thresholds are presented as ambiguous sites of opaque revelations, a view that contrasts with a more traditional understanding of paratext as a space aiming towards (absolute) clarification of the text. Rather, liminality is presented as favouring acts of subversion whereby Caribbean writing emerges as a literature that manifests constant (re)appropriations and generates renewed (af)filiations for the region. Problematic crossings are also explored to reveal that thresholds act as enclaves of cultural resistance where Caribbean literature is concerned. Here, Caribbean untranslatabilities are investigated as a feature of the region’s fragmentary nature, which, once turned into a poetics of translation based on reciprocal hospitality, offers possible routes of access to a pan-Caribbean cultural memory. Further analysis of translational paratexts as sites of reparation not only seeks to dislocate classics such as Césaire’s Cahier away from corrective manipulations of the text, it also aims to relocate Caribbean writing within a tradition of transculturation and creolization. Here, acts of self-translation expose the importance of self-legitimacy for those Caribbean writers who decide to adopt a bilingual approach to their writing, and raises the issue of whether or not any form of Caribbean writing that circulates on a global scale ultimately becomes a product of translation. The last sections of the thesis argue in favour of alternative models of circulation for Caribbean literature, in which translation is conceived as a series of archipelagic crossings that generates new coordinates for transoceanic solidarities. In turn, re-thinking translation from the perspective of Caribbean ecologies allows us to present a translocal approach to cultural circulation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: University of Warwick
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PN0441 Literary History