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Title: Representing culture, identity, hybridity and colonial relations : a paratextual and textual comparison of the Italian and English translations of Hella S. Haasse's East Indian novels "Oeroeg" and "Heren van de thee"
Author: Peligra, Cristina
ISNI:       0000 0004 8505 9326
Awarding Body: Newcastle University
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2019
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The Dutch writer Hella S. Haasse discusses decolonisation and the loss of the land of birth from the point of view of the descendants of former Dutch colonisers in the East Indies who left the colony. Questions of belonging, as seen from her 'repatriatee' generation's perspective, are the main themes of her East Indian novels. These remain underexplored in translation, although providing the perfect case studies to investigate how culture-specific colonial relations are represented in translation. The study therefore compares translation strategies to transpose issues of culture, identity, hybridity and colonial relations in the Italian and English translations of Haasse's East Indian novels "Oeroeg" (1948) and "Heren van de thee" [The Tea Lords] (1992), examining less known cultural and literary backgrounds which have seldom been the subject of postcolonial translation studies. Through a comparative paratextual and textual analysis of the chosen translations, the study looks in particular at how the two source cultures (the Dutch and the East Indian/Indonesian one) and their specific relationship are depicted, how issues of identity are represented and at what textual level, and what the reasons behind translation choices may be. The study also asks whether strategies diverge in the two target cultures, hypothesising that dissimilar backgrounds and global status may play a role in cultural representations. Results suggest that tendencies to generalisation and exoticisation risk distorting cultural images, particularly representations of cultural and linguistic hybridity. Despite showing many similarities, translations differ in the extent to which culture-specificity is emphasised. This divergence does not seem to depend on the target cultures, but on publications' framing and the presence/lack of contextualising prefaces. This reveals that translation strategies are more evidently influenced by literary, practical and marketing constraints rather than purely target-culture ones, which all contribute to shaping the context of each publication.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: AHRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available