Chapter published in:Doubts and Directions in Translation Studies: Selected contributions from the EST Congress, Lisbon 2004
Edited by Yves Gambier, Miriam Shlesinger † and Radegundis Stolze
[Benjamins Translation Library 72] 2007
► pp. 311–322
De la question de la lisibilité des traductions françaises de Don Quijote
The readability of literary work, notably of classics, does not present itself in the same way for original texts and their translations. For a translated text, readability is both the feature to which we attach the greatest importance and the one that inscribes the text in the history of literature, within a given temporality, within an evanescence (that is, a translated version of an original text gradually becomes obsolete before it is replaced by another translation). In the case of translating classics, readability must be understood as the expression, for the reader, of a relation to this history of literature, but also as a form of otherness, which, of course, is the other language (the language of the original) or the reader’s own language…at another time in history. Among the texts that best problematize the question of readability in regard to classics, are the translations of Don Quixote, in particular the 20th-century French translations of Cervantes’ masterpiece.
Keywords: archaizing translation, Don Quixote, literalness, modernizing translation, readability, translation of classical texts
Published online: 13 July 2007