Friend and foe: On the role of indirect literary translation in the construction of the conflicting images of communist Poland in para-fascist Portugal

Hanna Pięta
University of Lisbon Centre for English Studies

Previous research suggests that in Salazar’s Portugal, Soviet Poland was portrayed as both a friend and a foe. This article argues that these conflicting images are partly due to distinct discourses that reached Portugal through translations of Polish literature. Ultimately, it aims to give insights into the role of literary translation in the construction of a national image abroad. Since all the translations in the corpus are indirect, special attention is paid to the way the mediating texts impacted the image encoded in the target text. The article considers five channels via which texts were imported, presenting the results of a textual analysis of one translation in each of these channels, including its indirect trajectory. The findings confirm the importance of the analysed translations in the construction of the discussed images and show that the mediating texts had a crucial filtering role as regards the transfer of these images.

Publication history
Table of contents

This article combines the topics of translation and image. Translation is here understood as a form of ‘rewriting’ (Lefevere 1992), that is, a text produced on the basis of another with the intention of adapting that other text to a certain ideology or to a certain poetics and, usually, to both (Hermans 1999). The above definition is employed because it is particularly apt for the combined ideological and textual approach assumed by this study.

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