Publication details [#12080]

Boisseau, Maryvonne. 2005. 'Je brûle pour Thésée', réflexions sur les opérations linguistiques engagées dans la traduction d’une métaphore de Phèdre. In Boisseau, Maryvonne, ed. Traduire la figure de style [Translating figure of speech]. pp. 25–40.
Publication type
Article in jnl/bk
Publication language
Title as subject


The trope of the metaphor is often perceived either as a stylistic feature singularising a particular writer or as a sort of linguistic deviation marked by the unexpected link between a word and that which it is supposed to refer to. The present study focuses on the inventive potential of this figure of speech, both in stylistic and linguistic terms, by trying to understand and bring to light the predicative and enunciative operations leading to the construction of meaning, both in the original text and its translations. Through the detailed analysis of three examples of a common metaphor taken from Phèdre, Racine’s classical verse tragedy, the article questions the whole complex interactive process involving a series of operations deemed to be parallel in the creative act of writing and the re-creative act of translating. The results of the process in the translations are diverse and may well reveal a gap between imagination and enunciation that could account for the relative failure of some of the translations or for the impossibility to take into account the whole of the metaphorical network underlying each occurrence of the metaphor.
Source : Abstract in journal