The role of the literary translator in the new Europe and the literary translator as role model
Keywords:translator, literary translation, european culture, european
Working under the assumption that language and culture are inseparable, a central question arises as to what the role of the translator is in the new Europe of the future.The aspired goal of a single vast network of cultural relations that retains and yet surpasses local identities to create a polyphony rather than a monotone is hardly finite or readily tangible – nor should it be. Yet how do we define this new Europe? How do we define European culture without precise and tangible definitions for either European or culture? The fundamental question the presenters seek to address is what the role of the literary translator is in this network of linguistic-cultural crossings in the still-utopian new Europe of cultural and linguistic union. We consider recent translation theories exemplifying the political, ethical and sociocultural issues raised by Venuti (1995; 1998; 2000) and re-examine traditional translation methods. We suggest that in the new European culture the literary translator can act as a role model for an emerging methodology of transcultural and transliteral formation. We attempt to define and then link the task of the literary translator as transmitter of a European culture by focusing on the bicultural/linguistic overlap in the bilingual or multilingual translator. Questions addressed include: What role will literature play in a fundamental restructuring of what initially will be economic order and political organization? What might ‘Europe’ with the broader sociopolitical and cultural boundaries encompass?
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