CTS Research Talk: Teaching or Studying Literature in Translation: Pitfalls for Academic Scholars
- Date: Tuesday 5 November 2019, 17:00 – 18:00
- Location: Michael Sadler SR (LG.19)
- Cost: Free to all
The Centre of Translation Studies is pleased to welcome Lars Liljegren (Linköping University) to speak on Teaching or Studying Literature in Translation: Pitfalls for Academic Scholars
I argue that it is time to address the way the university world sometimes makes uncritical use of censored translations when there are modern, uncensored ones available.
Taking as a point of departure the first English translations of the Swedish naturalist-inspired author August Strindberg’s works Giftas [getting married] (1884, 1886) and I havsbandet [by the open sea] (1890), I will first show how the English translations drastically deviate from their source texts on the very traits that made the author and his works famous. I will then argue that the main reason for this is the Obscene Publications Act 1857. Finally, I will demonstrate how, today, these translations and translations of other authors whose naturalist discourse clashed with British moral norms, are sold as “Scholar’s Choice” editions, quoted by literary scholars and included in reading lists for university courses, with no thought given to the existence of uncensored alternatives.
One first step towards addressing this problem would be to critically discuss the use of old translations in literature courses at university, starting with the realization that translations are always bound to their place and time.