Can the subaltern be heard?
Translating Mariama Bâ’s francophone novel Une si longue lettre into Russian
This article examines translation strategies applied in the Russian version of Mariama Bâ’s francophone novel Une si longue lettre (USLL). The novel, which is often described as feminist, was translated into Russian during the period of late socialism, which was characterized by gradual societal changes involving the liberalization of the social order. Drawing on Spivak’s theorization of the subaltern and feminist translation, this article explores how the francophone African novel was translated into Russian and how specifically Soviet feminist discourses are reflected in the translation. Ultimately, this article argues that, by employing feminist translation strategies, the subaltern women characters in USLL were represented as less dependent on patriarchal structures and ‘inserted’ into the target culture as hegemonic subjects.
- The subaltern voice and/in translation
- Late Soviet contexts of feminism
- Translating Mariama Bâ’s womanism into Russian
- Women’s education