Chapter in:Humour in Self-Translation
Edited by Margherita Dore
[Topics in Humor Research 11] 2022
► pp. 257–274
Chapter 12Second thoughts about second versions
Self-translation and humour
This rejoinder proceeds in a dialectical fashion. For the sake of argument, the first part takes the opposite view of the thesis according to which the translator’s identity must modify the parameters of translating different forms of humour (comedy, satire, irony, wordplay). Upon reflection, it appears that self-translators also face the constraints inherent in this exercise, whether broader cultural transfers need to be re-contextualized or specific aspects raise questions of a linguistic or rhetorical nature. This observation allows for a clearer appreciation of the specificity of self-translation in a second part of the demonstration, where received notions such as agency or intention are examined anew. Agency is not unlimited, nor is access unmediated, but both are part of the cocktail of self-translation, whose main originality resides elsewhere, however: in the possibility of embarking on a translation before completing the first text, that is, self-translating “simultaneously.” The demonstration is illustrated with many examples, and due notice is taken of articles in this volume that deal with self-translated texts and their (re)writers.
Keywords: translation of humour, wordplay, puns, self-translation, collaborative translation, agency, intentionality, directionality
- 1.Questioning self-translational specificity
- 1.1The cultural matrix of humour
- 1.2.1Are puns always funny?
- 1.2.2Patterning puns: Nancy Huston
- 1.2.3Compensating for lost puns: Samuel Beckett
- 2.Towards self-translational specificity
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