Edited by Luc van Doorslaer and Peter Flynn
[Benjamins Current Topics 54] 2013
► pp. 95–112
In his 2008 book, Translation and Identity in the Americas, Edwin Gentzler proposed a “fictional turn” to refer to translation in connection with the construction of identity in the Americas, a highly positive view of the role played by this activity since the arrival of the Europeans. This paper proposes a “fictionalizing twist,” that is, a complementary approach that would attest to the less positive use of translation in the relation between Europe and the Americas on the one hand, and among European nations on the other. Thus, I examine how translation and Translation Studies have contributed to creating certain negative images of translators and nations, a tendency that can still be traced nowadays. First, I discuss the views on the indigenous interpreter Malinche and her part in the conquest of Mexico. Then I move on to examine the ideological manipulation of texts used to promote antagonistic national identities within the European context at the time. Finally, it is argued that both the fictional turn and the fictionalizing twist need to be considered as an integral part of the identity-construction process in the Americas and in Europe.