Book reviewFictionalising translation and multilingualism (= Special Issue of Linguistica Antverpiensia New Series 4/2005). Antwerpen: Hogeschool Antwerpen, Hoger Instituut voor Vertalers en Tolken, 2005. 335 pp. ISBN 0304-2294 20 €
Reviewed by Paul Bandia
Table of contents
This book is an invaluable contribution to current discussions on literary heteroglossia and the translational underpinnings of polylingualism and multilingual discourse practices. The strength of the book can be ascertained in the solid and lengthy introductory chapter co-authored by the two editors, which lays out convincingly the main objectives of the volume and eruditely maps out a broad and insightful landscape for exploring research related to the intersection or interface between multilingual practices and translation. Contributions to the volume cover a wide range of traditions and contexts including Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas, touching on a variety of media such as literature, cinema and television where multilingualism is viewed as a mode of expression in itself. A close reading of the papers leads to a broader understanding of the title, which is meant to include various manifestations of the intercourse between multilingualism and translation. Some contributions deal with the role of translation in multilingual discourses either as a deliberate mode of expression or as a pervasive or an unavoidable subtext underlying any heteroglossic language practice. For instance, Fernando Toda discusses the political motivations of multilingualism in Walter Scott’s Waverley novels; Christine Lombez looks at pseudo-translations in 19th century France; Ilse Logie and Hildegard Vermeiren discuss the role of the interpreter as linguistic and cultural go-between in Latin American fiction; while Raymond Mopoho and Katrien Liévois do the same for former French colonies in Africa. Others explore the fictionalizing [ p. 165 ]of translation and translators/interpreters as protagonists or focalizers in various forms of artistic expression. Iulia Mihalache looks at representing translation and the translating subject across genres, Judy Wakabayashi addresses Japanese fiction, Brian James Baer studies Russian detective novels, Marella Feltrin-Morris concentrates on an Italian best-seller, Beverley Curran on postcolonial writings from Canada, Australia and the United States, while Jean Anderson probes into how fictional translators fared in novels written by translators. A few others discuss problems related to the writing and translation of multilingual texts. Juliette Taylor’s paper looks at polyglot puns and mistranslations in Nabokov, while Maria Brunner and Marco Kunz discuss the fictionalizing of specific speech styles in immigrant literature. Carolina Amador Moreno’s paper deals with bilingual writing by Javier Marías and Antonio Muñoz Molina from a reader response perspective, while Tessa Dwyer explores intercultural (mis)communication in Sofia Coppola’s Lost in translation and Roberto Valdeon studies the translation of foreignisms in the American situation comedy Frasier.