Frantz Fanon and the enigma of cultural translation

by Robert J.C. Young

The writings of Frantz Fanon were very quickly subjected to a form of cultural translation, not only in some of the more esoteric interpretations of his work, which take it very far from his own historical concerns, but also more literally: for today, for the most part, he is read in translation. Sales of his books in English far outnumber those of his original texts in French.
When the first English translation of Les damnés de la terre was published by Présence Africaine in Paris in 1963, it was called simply The Damned (Fanon 1963; Figure 1).
When it was published in London two years later, it was renamed, and given the title by which it is now known, The Wretched of the Earth (Fanon 1965; Figure 2). The following year, it was published in the USA, with the same title, but now with a subtitle, which ran, ‘A Negro Psychoanalyst’s Study Of The Problems Of Racism & Colonialism In The World Today’ (Fanon 1966; Figure 3).

The Invisibility of the African Interpreter
Jeanne Garane

"Les interprètes le font tourner dans un petit cercle d'intrigues.” (The interpreters keep him turning in a narrow circle of intrigues.) Robert Delavignette, Service africain

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Interview with Robert J.C. Young

translation editor Siri Nergaard met with Robert J. C. Young in New Your City on September14th 2012 at the Nida Research Symposium.

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Reflections on Translation
Paschalis Nikolaou

How does one reflect on translation? For Susan Bassnett, one of the world’s foremost thinkers in translation studies – it is a field she helped into being, no less – this is a question answered incrementally, and over time. Her Reflections on Translation collects critical pieces that appeared, for the most part, in the ITI Bulletin; their significance immediately connects to the author’s name, but the usefulness of – and often, sheer enjoyment in – reading them owes also to an adopted style and approach to communicating what’s really important. 

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