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Title: Postcolonial literature in Polish translation (1970-2010) : difference, similarity and solidarity
Author: Goluch, D.
Awarding Body: University College London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2013
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The thesis examines the Polish translation and reception of postcolonial literature between 1970 and 2010. It investigates the perceptions of postcolonial peoples and Polish self-perceptions in the context of timely debates about East European postcoloniality and, generally, contemporary global synergies and solidarities. The Introduction presents contemporary conceptualizations of solidarity. Chapter One provides a historical background and discusses the scholarship on Polish postcoloniality, while Chapter Two explains the methodological approach - analysing relevant discourses in nearly one thousand reviews of postcolonial prose - and characterizes the Polish translations of postcolonial literature (1945-2010). Chapters Three and Four explore the discourses on translation and knowledge: they demonstrate that translation is expected to facilitate understanding of foreign cultures through linguistic clarity and informative material, and that postcolonial texts are read as sources of knowledge (especially before 1989) and as valid, if competing, representations of socio-cultural realities. Chapter Five investigates Eurocentric discourses of difference, which stigmatize postcolonial irrationality (mostly pre-1989), barbarity (mostly post-1989) and exoticism. Discourses of universalism are featured in Chapter Six, which documents continuing references to similarity - common humanity, communist future, global modernity - and shows them to be compromised by the perceptions of others as less developed. Finally, Chapter Seven traces references to shared historical experiences, e.g. of independence struggle (pre-1989) and displacement (post-1989). The Conclusion suggests that the perceptions of similarity signify potential for solidarity; besides, it recommends that investigation of Polish perceptions of non-European postcolonials be incorporated into debates about Poland's postcoloniality. Overall, the thesis demonstrates that postcolonial literature and its translation were consistently - post-1989 discursive shifts notwithstanding - viewed by Polish reviewers as vital to developing knowledge of postcolonial peoples. Moreover, while the perceptions of civilizational difference remained salient, statements of Polish-postcolonial similarity were gaining currency. Enabled by the perceptions of similarity, solidarity could be forged between nationally, socially, politically and culturally delineated Polish and postcolonial constituencies.
Supervisor: Hermans, T. ; Zechenter, K. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available