Just as memory creates a link between the past and the present, so translation can bring an earlier text to a contemporary audience. This process of ‘renewal’ unfolds not only across time but also in a different geographical, linguistic and cultural setting, addressing, as it does, a ‘foreign’ audience. The relationship between source text and target text(s) is a dynamic one, in continuous evolution. This chapter is centered around Italian writer Primo Levi, the trauma experienced in Auschwitz, the subsequent need to bear witness and how this is carried through into his writing. It outlines the translation of Levi’s work into English, before positing a parallel between translation–and, more specifically, retranslation–and the discourse of Postmemory Studies. Just as second-generation writers explore the complex relationship with their forebears who lived through the Holocaust, so (re)translators are tasked with putting into words experiences that are not their own, often long after the original publications. Along with retranslation, the chapter will analyse the deployment of paratexts in determining dynamic, ongoing relevance for contemporary audiences.

‘As if Carved in Stone': Primo Levi and the (In)Stability of Memory in Translation / Wardle, Mary. - (2023), pp. 40-54. [10.4324/9781003149651-4].

‘As if Carved in Stone': Primo Levi and the (In)Stability of Memory in Translation

Wardle, Mary
2023

Abstract

Just as memory creates a link between the past and the present, so translation can bring an earlier text to a contemporary audience. This process of ‘renewal’ unfolds not only across time but also in a different geographical, linguistic and cultural setting, addressing, as it does, a ‘foreign’ audience. The relationship between source text and target text(s) is a dynamic one, in continuous evolution. This chapter is centered around Italian writer Primo Levi, the trauma experienced in Auschwitz, the subsequent need to bear witness and how this is carried through into his writing. It outlines the translation of Levi’s work into English, before positing a parallel between translation–and, more specifically, retranslation–and the discourse of Postmemory Studies. Just as second-generation writers explore the complex relationship with their forebears who lived through the Holocaust, so (re)translators are tasked with putting into words experiences that are not their own, often long after the original publications. Along with retranslation, the chapter will analyse the deployment of paratexts in determining dynamic, ongoing relevance for contemporary audiences.
2023
Translating Memories of Violent Pasts: Memory Studies and Translation Studies in Dialogue
9781003149651
Primo Levi; Memory Studies; Postmemory; Retranslation; Paratext.
02 Pubblicazione su volume::02a Capitolo o Articolo
‘As if Carved in Stone': Primo Levi and the (In)Stability of Memory in Translation / Wardle, Mary. - (2023), pp. 40-54. [10.4324/9781003149651-4].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1687361
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