Robert Graves’s Claudian novels: A case of pseudotranslation

Olaf Du Pont
Hogeschool Gent & Universiteit Gent

The article outlines the relevance of pseudotranslation for Translation Studies, using a case study of the novels I, Claudius and Claudius, the God by Robert Graves. The paper provides a list of partly overlapping motivations for adopting pseudotranslation and illustrates this motivation paradigm on the basis of particular findings in Graves’s novels: if an author wants to attribute a pseudotranslation to an existing person, the author has to account for stylistic differences between the pseudotranslation and genuine texts by that person. By claiming to translate from a different source language than the language normally used by the existing person, the author of the pseudotranslation can mask those stylistic divergences.

Table of contents

This paper first outlines the scope of the existing concept of pseudotranslation within the field of literary translation by defining the phenomenon and illustrating its importance to the field. It then examines the possible motivations for using this as a literary technique and applies them to the novels I, Claudius and Claudius, the God by Robert Graves. The findings are subsequently compared to a similar case.

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