Journey in a W(H)interland is a translation of the French work of fiction Le Voyage d'hi(v)er accompanied by a critical preface that examines the biographies and bibliographies of the original's two authors, Georges Perec and Jacques Roubaud; the "mathematico-literary" group to which both belonged, the Oulipo (short for ouvroir de littérature potentielle); the Oulipo's use of formal constraints to generate literature; and the translation issues that arise from oulipian works and, in this particular case, from a joint authorial effort containing both verse and prose. I situate Le Voyage d'hi(v)er within the oulipian oeuvre, which I evaluate in turn within the larger context of twentieth-century French literature and literary and critical theory. My objective was twofold: I wished to pen a translation that read fluently and replicated the original's tone and poetic particularities without recourse to footnotes or other means of extratextual elucidation. I also wished to reflect critically and at length on the process of translation and the myriad deliberations it entails. Hence the preface, in which I argue that literary chronology and genealogy deserve the heterodox treatment the Oulipo grants them; that the oulipian notion of " plagiarism by anticipation" productively engages the issues of linguistic potential and literary originality; and that translation functions as a metastatement rendered all the more poignant when plagiarism and constrained writing techniques form an integral part of the original. Finally, I argue that my translation improves upon previous English renderings of Le Voyage d'hi(v)er—an argument that hinges in large part on my preservation of the original's rhymed verse and the way its title functions within the narrative.
Key words and phrases: - Translation - Oulipo - Constrained writing - Plagiarism by anticipation - Nineteenth-century French poetry
|Commitee:||Gunn, Daniel, Harding, Adrian|
|School:||The American University of Paris (France)|
|Source:||MAI 56/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Comparative literature, Modern literature, Romance literature|
|Keywords:||France, Oulipo, Perec, Georges, Plagiarism by anticipation, Roubaud, Jacques, Translation|
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