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Title: Translating translation theory : a critical and practical investigation of reflexivity in translation
Author: Kadiu, S.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8503 9712
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London);
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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The development of translation studies in the past three decades has seen a proliferation of theories calling for greater reflexivity in translation, which raise issues of visibility, creativity and ethics. To what extent can reflexivity be systematised to foster an ethical practice of translation? This thesis examines the viability of five theories using a reflexive methodology inspired by Jacques Derrida's performative approach in "Des Tours de Babel". Firstly, my foreignizing translation of the first chapter of Lawrence Venuti's The Translator's Invisibility exposes the limits of a practice aiming to secure the visibility of a translation's status as translation, suggesting that a reflexive approach must also take into account the possible failure of this performative gesture. Secondly, my open letter to Susan Bassnett, in response to her essay "Writing and Translating", builds on her description of reflexivity as a dialogic relation between author and translator to present performativity in translation as a responsive enactment of a prior utterance. Thirdly, my comparative experimentation with human and machine translations of a text by Henri Meschonnic interrogates the hierarchy (poetics vs. mechanics) underlying his claim that reflexivity is inherent to human translation. Fourthly, my analytical back translations of excerpts from Antoine Berman's works exemplify the challenges of an ethical translation practice based on self-awareness, tentatively redefining reflexivity as an experience of uncertainty. Lastly, my documentary film, which presents a translation of this thesis in filmic form, explores the possible applications of the reflexive method in the context of translator education, further extending its potential validity as an intuitive mode of inquiry. I conclude that the reflexive method is at its most pertinent as a pedagogic tool, showing that a reflexive translational practice can be neither systematised nor secured, but only hinted at by making students experience the limits of their own self-reflexivity.
Supervisor: Mathews, Timothy ; Hermans, Theo Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available