This is translation’s first regular issue. After an encouraging start with the inaugural issue that was sent out to readers in numerous countries around the globe, and after significant positive feedback, we look forward to this challenge to create a fresh, lively, and ongoing dialogue with our readers and authors—in both the journal’s paper and online versions.
The contents of this first issue are divided into four parts, the first of which presents the work of three young scholars—Antonia Carcelén-Estrada, Piotr Blumczyński, and Sergey Tyulenev. Carcelén-Estrada shows through the example of the translation of Don Quixote into the indigenous language Kichwa in Ecuador how translation can be part of a political and social project of resistance. The resulting translation, Tiyu Kijuti, is according to the author (she is one of the novel’s two translators) a hybrid text, where ‘hybridity consciously attempts to depart from transculturation or mestizaje by making use of borrowings or appropriations local precisely to reveal their farcical performance of the native. The world of early modern imperial Spain is made obviously foreign by disguising it as native’. Blumczyński’s article analyzes the translation of conversion narratives in Poland, demonstrating their broad relevance to the consideration of ideological and social aspects of translation at large. By comparing the translations of two English confessional texts published in the USA into Polish by the two different Polish religious communities, the dominant Catholic Church and the Evangelical community representing a very small minority, the author shows the complex and dynamic relationship between language, religion, and translation through a combined, multidimensional perspective. The third article in this first part, by Tyulenev, explores translation in comparison with conflict. The author claims that translation is a crossing phenomena and that it ‘should and can be theorized as more than just a verbum-centered crossing; only then will it be seen as an independent object, rather than a subsection of applied linguistics’. As a crossing phenomenon, translation is also a result of crossing, like other social crossing boundary phenomena, such as transgression and war. The author asks: “How is translation to be distinguished vis-à-vis other types of boundary crossing phenomena and other types of mediation?”
The second part of this issue gathers together contributions from The Nida School’s first Research Symposium that took place in New York City on September 14, 2011. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak and Anthony Pym were invited to give papers on the theme ‘Translation, Globalization, and Localization’, and Sandra Bermann and Edwin Gentzler were challenged to respond. This thoughtful interchange resulted in an extremely interesting meeting, followed by lively debate. Here we present parts of what took place in NYC, through the edited transcript of Spivak’s oral and written presentation, the summary of Pym’s paper, and Gentzler’s full response to both. On the Nida School’s website (nsts.fusp.it) it will soon be possible to see videos of both the papers and interviews with some of the participants at the symposium.
In the third part of issue one you will find articles of three members of the advisory board. Robert J. C. Young presents his rereading of Franz Fanon as cultural translation, both in the sense that the author’s books have mainly been read and interpreted through translations, and in the sense that Fanon’s ‘combat literature’ both represents and enacts a total commitment to cultural translation as a strategy for subaltern empowerment. Young asks, ‘If culture is itself a form of translation, and if both sides of a cultural translation constitute dynamic practices of struggle, how can we think them all together as a common process, or a particular kind of intervention?’ Iain Chambers’s Translating space is presented in its entirety, a portion of which appeared in the inaugural issue. In it, Chambers considers cities as sites of cultural encounters, and as such, in perpetual translation. ‘There is no one project, no single perspective that is able to subordinate, discipline, edify, and translate space’, Chambers maintains, because ‘Space is re-articulated, transformed from a singular structure into a multilateral palimpsest that can be “written” up and over, again and again. Freed from their supposedly objective status, space and temporality are deviated from the unilateralism of “progress”; both are redistributed in a narrative yet to be told.’ The third part of this issue concludes with Babli Moitra Saraf ’s elaboration of a theme she previously set forth in translation’s inaugural issue. ‘The idea of translation as a linear operation needs to be interrogated’, she states. ‘Even the word “translation” must be reviewed to consider that interlingual translation may just be one of several translational practices. Its dominance in defining all acts of translation must be examined and challenged’. With this document, Saraf challenges the perspectives on translation presented in the inaugural issue’s introduction by Stefano Arduini and Siri Nergaard. I am hopeful that her words are a start to a rich debate that can be developed online: how and where can studies on translation meet when the ‘translation question’ is radically different in different parts of the world?
The issue concludes with translation’s interview with Susan Bassnett. What is printed here is the transcript of our conversation in October 2011. Both her and translation studies’ main steps can be traced through her words, ending with important considerations for the future: Which are the significant questions on translation today? Where does translation take place? The video of the interview with Bassnett is already available online: http://translation.fusp.it/interviews/interview-with-susan-bassnett
Let me welcome a new member of the editorial board, Babli Moitra Saraf. Passing from member of the advisory to the editorial board, she will more actively and directly enrich the journal by enlarging its geographical, linguistic, and cultural perspectives. Babli succeeds Valerie Henitiuk, who has left the editorial board for other duties. We thank Valerie for her important contribution to the journal’s initial steps. Welcome also to James Maxey, who is the journal’s managing editor: without him neither the journal’s paper version nor the online journal would be possible.
Some concluding remarks on the future issues: We will endeavor to include an interview with a prominent person in different fields of research on translation in each issue. We believe in these personal encounters, and in their capacity to create through dialogue new ideas beyond disciplinary boundaries.
Additional content is available to translation subscribers online, including reviews, news, debates, and comments. It is our hope that through the combination of these two forms of publication the journal will be both current and timely. The website offers quick availability, searchable content, and opportunities to interact while the paper version allows for reflective and deep reading. Both formats shall always be transdisciplinary.
by Antonia Carcelén-Estrada
By Piotr Blumczyński
by Sergey Tyulenev
By Edwin Gentzler, Anthony Pym and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
by Robert J.C. Young
by Ian Chambers
By Babli Moitra Saraf
by Siri Nergaard