Publication details [#6446]

Coates, Carrol F. 2000. Respecting the Hauka: translating Ahamadou Kourouma's En attendant le vote des bêtes sauvages. In West, Thomas L., ed. Proceedings of the 41st annual conference of the American Translators Association. Alexandria: ATA (American Translators Association). pp. 61–68.


Readers of West African fiction are regularly required to engage in virtually encyclopedic background reading if they want to penetrate beyond the superficial plot level of the story they are reading. In Ahmadou Kourouma's work, the background of the whirlwind satire of African dictatorships during the Cold War is fundamentally important, but the reader will also encounter various traditional religions and cultures. Since the novel is presented as the oral discourse of a sèrè (the celebratory singer of hunters' exploits), the beliefs of the hunters and their relationships to African animals are an essential and important element of the story. These primarily descriptive observations on the novel are presented, along with primary references, as the basis for further discussion and inquiry into the problems of translating a discourse that is at two and three removes from the source-language discourse: African oral discourse, written by an African novelist in French and translated by an Oklahoman.
Source : Bitra