Publication details [#5820]

Bensimon, Paul. 1999. Figure, figuralité, dé-figuration, sur-figuration: aspects de la traduction poétique [The figure, the figurative, de-figuration and over-figuration: aspects of poetic translation]. In Brisset, Annie, ed. Poésie, cognition, traduction 1 [Poetry, cognition, translation 1]. Special issue of Traduction Terminologie Rédaction (TTR) 12 (1): 57–90.
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Article in Special issue
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The figurative landscape of a poem is frequently modified, or, further, levelled, when translated, due to an incomplete understanding and perception – before it’s translation – of the “interior space of language” that constitutes the figure, as well as the figurative mechanisms. The pernicious, tenacious concept of the figure as the rhetoric’s flower, as decorative element, is also often a frequent underlying theme in the translator’s approach to a poetic translation: the figure’s belonging to the poem’s form, which is seen as being one with its meaning: the two indivisible.The author examines here the fate of four key figures – comparison, metaphor, hypallage, and repetition – in diverse translations of poetry, in light of Meschonnic’s general principle of concordance, for the establishment o a poetic relationship between a text end its translation. The demetaphorisation of any given translation suppresses or weakens the essential elements of the development and creation of meaning. The inverse of this ablation – or destruction, of figures is the addition of poetic translation. Animated by the desire to embellish or to beautify, to poeticise the original text, the translator adds supplementary flourishes onto the source text: this rhetorization is one of the most common translation practices of “aesthetic domination”. Staying close to the figurative scheme of a poem means respecting its organic unity, and preserving its textual integrity.
Source : Abstract in journal