Imperial and Anti-imperial Translation in Native American Literature

by Edwin Gentzler

In this paper I trace a brief history of translation of Native Americantexts, looking at both imperial and anti-imperial practices and strategies. Theopening section discusses a series of omissions and false substitutions by imperialistictranslators, whose goals may have been directed more at conversion anddomestication than translation proper. I then focus on ethnographic and ethnopoetictranslation strategies practiced by anthropologists and literary translatorsthat were less imperial and more open to inclusion and diversity. Finally, I turnto Arnold Krupat’s conception of “anti-imperial translation” that allows NativeAmerican terms, sounds, and structures to co-exist in the English language,thereby enlarging the both English and Native American cultures and pointingto a new way of thinking about translation in a (post)translation fashion.



Articles
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

read more
Interviews
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.

read more
Reviews
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. 

read more