Widening the scope in archival translator studies: microhistory and collective experiences
Dienstag, 13.12., 17:00-18:30 Uhr
Working in the archives, it is sometimes very hard to find documents concerning ordinary translators and their work. Publishers’ archives may offer one way out by facilitating access to negotiations between translators and publishers on a wide range of different translation processes. The daily issues and problems, as well as conflicts, concerns and constraints become highlighted and research is extended to “translators with low agency and low literary capital” (Pickford 2021, 8). In the presentation, I will discuss examples from my study on a Finnish publishing house, WSOY, covering the correspondence of 64 translators during the period 1878–1946 (accounting for 14% of the correspondence files at the publishing house). The translators’ correspondence reveals the wide range of activities they were involved in while translating or negotiating translations with the publishing house as well as the extent of problems and proposed solutions to a number of issues they faced when translating or endeavouring to translate: macro and micro strategies (such as indirect translating, the translation of dialects, compilative or collective translating). Through these cases, we are able to build up a comprehensive picture of the conditions and constraints of translators’ work as well as of their agency and relations with the publisher.
Pickford, Susan. 2021. Le traducteur et l’archive : considérations historiographiques. Meta, 66(1), 28–47.
Bodies, clues and detective work. Finding translators in the archive.
Donnerstag, 15.12., 11:45-13:15 Uhr
Lecture at the course on translation history
It is no news that translators’ history is often very hard to come by: translators may not be famous (unlike some of the authors they translate), their archives may be hidden away, or there may not even be any archives. There are, however, some ways to tackle the problem, and some detective work to be done. To find the body of material, you need clues – but how to find and identify them? In the lectura, we will look at translators’ paratexts, their correspondence (with authors, with publishers) and the kinds of issues that can be gleaned from these sources, shedding light on past translators’ everyday work and life. We cannot ask them questions – but we can certainly listen to them.
Outi Paloposki is professor of English at the University of Turku (Finland), School of Languages and Translation Studies. Her research interests include history of translation, retranslations, translators and their agency, translation criticism and the linguistic profiles and role of translations in Finland. She was one of the editors of the two-volume history of literary translation into Finnish, published by the Finnish Literature Society in 2007, and of its companion volume, history of non-fiction translation into Finnish (2013).
Translation Studies methodology and translation history figure as her top teaching priorities.