Publication details [#2404]

Bosseaux, Charlotte. 2007. How does it feel? Point of view in translation. The case of Virginia Woolf into French (Approaches to Translation Studies 29). Amsterdam: Rodopi. iv + 247 pp.
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Person as a subject
Title as subject
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Also reviewed in: Jeremy Munday (2009). “Translation Studies”. #Years Work Critical and Cultural Theory#17 (1): 148-163.


Narratology is concerned with the study of narratives; but surprisingly it does not usually distinguish between original and translated texts. This lack of distinction is regrettable. In recent years the visibility of translations and translators has become a widely discussed topic in Translation Studies; yet the issue of translating a novel’s point of view has remained relatively unexplored. It seems crucial to ask how far a translator’s choices affect the novel’s point of view, and whether characters or narrators come across similarly in originals and translations. This book addresses these questions. It proposes a method by which it becomes possible to investigate how the point of view of a work of fiction is created in an original and adapted in translation. It shows that there are potential problems involved in the translation of linguistic features that constitute point of view (deixis, modality, transitivity and free indirect discourse) and that this has an impact on the way works are translated. Traditionally, comparative analysis of originals and their translations have relied on manual examinations; this book demonstrates that corpus-based tools can greatly facilitate and sharpen the process of comparison. The method is demonstrated using Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse (1927) and The Waves (1931), and their French translations.
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