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Review: The Repeating Island – The Caribbean and the Postmodern Perspective – by Antonio Benítez-Rojo

the repeating island

The Cuban author offers a postmodern view of the Caribbean. It is a sociocultural study that encompasses aspects of history, economics, sociology, cultural anthropology, psychoanalysis, literary theory, and non-linear mathematics, incorporating chaos theory. The book’s aims and theories are laid out in a flowing introduction whereby Benítez-Rojo’s notion of the ‘repeating island’ is explored, through the lens of polyrhythms and meta-archipelagoes. Benítez-Rojo sees in all of the Caribbean a repetitive streaming of ideas, of resistance to slavery, of Plantation culture of postcolonialist discourse. The book focuses on a series of Caribbean authors and poets, from Gabriel García Márquez to the author’s poet of preference, the Cuban Guillén. Critical essays explore how a multitude of creative characters have interpreted their lives in the Antilles, and recurring themes of the cult of the Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre or of the sacrificed slave Mackandal, reverberate in the author’s dissections of West Indian culture. This book gives a valuable postmodernist insight into the supersyncretic culture that comprises the Caribbean.

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Polysystems And Postcolonialism

Itamar-Even-Zohar

Polysystems and Postcolonialism by William Wesley Gerrard 02.06.16 ML8101 – INTRODUCTION TO TRANSLATION THEORY – Alternative Assessment – ID: C1473322 CANDIDATE NAME: William Wesley Gerrard STUDENT NUMBER: c1473322 MODULE CODE: ML8101 MODULE TITLE: Introduction to Translation Theory SEMINAR TUTOR: Dr Carlos Sanz-Mingo ESSAY TITLE / COURSEWORK ASSIGNMENT: Polysystems and Postcolonialism – Alternative Assessment WORD COUNT: 1537   It has been argued that unequal power relationships between languages, countries, cultures and polysystems have important implications for translation. Discuss, making reference to at least one approach from lectures, and provide at least one example. Translation is at the heart of international relations, hence power differentials are always abundant as translators work. As Venuti identifies there tends to be a potential violence in the interactions: ‘The violent effects of translation are felt at home as well as abroad. On the one hand, translation wields enormous power in the construction of identities for foreign cultures, and hence it potentially figures in ethnic discrimination, geopolitical confrontations, colonialism, terrorism, war. On the other hand, translation enlists the foreign text in the maintenance or revision of literary canons in the receiving culture, inscribing poetry and fiction, for example, with the various poetic, narrative, and ideological discourses that compete for cultural dominance in the translating language.’ Venuti (2008:14) This essay will explore the relationships between the entities using polysystem theory and also by focussing on postcolonialsim and its effects. In bringing in examples, the differing power relationships between languages will be identified with a particular focus on the role of translators within society. Itamar Even-Zohar Polysystem theory was created by Israeli scholar, Itamar Even-Zohar, in the 1970s, based on the ideas of the Russian Formalists of the 1920s and the Czech structuralists of the 1930s and 1940s. ‘According to Even-Zohar’s model, the polysystem is conceived as a heterogeneous, hierarchized conglomerate (or system) of systems which interact to bring about an ongoing, dynamic process of evolution within the polysystem as a whole.’ Shuttleworth in Baker & Saldanha (2009:197) Translation holds a key role within polysystem theory and the works of translators are at the heart as well as the periphery of the polysystems Even-Zohar identifies: ‘Translation is no longer a phenomenon whose nature and borders are given once and for all, but an activity dependant on the relations within a certain cultural system.’ Even-Zohar (1990:51) Within a polysystem, varying forms of literature and media form separate subsystems, translations having…

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Review: Postcolonial Translation: Theory and Practice

Postcolonial Translation: Theory and Practice by Susan Bassnett My rating: 3 of 5 stars I’ve read a few articles on the subject of postcolonial translation and have found the area to be interesting. I thought I’d delve a little deeper into the subject. This book is a collection of nine extended essays. My first criticism is that there is too much of an emphasis on postcolonial translation in India. Whereas, due to the nature of the Indian multilingual community and its relationship with the British Empire, I can see how it can be an important focus in postcolonial translation, I felt that this book devotes too much to this one region and doesn’t fully explore more exotic regions of the world. There is very little reference to Africa and not much on South America, certainly not the Spanish-speaking part of South America. Thus, the book takes into consideration English as a primary language and the effect of British imperialism. A more varied range of essays with reference to other colonial powers would, I feel, add some spice to the book’s material. The essay on border writing in Quebec, was, I feel, the best essay in the collection. I did also, however, surprisingly, take a lot out of the Hélène Cixous / Clarice Lispector essay. Although, at first glance, the study of a famous French feminist’s obsession with a Brasilian (feminist) writer, may seem a bit trivial, I found that this essay best introduced me to new ideas and ways of viewing postcolonial translation. It is in essence a power struggle of differentials between colonised people and coloniser. When you add in the mix of a feminist outlook into translation, then some truly profound revelations come into play and I felt that the author of this particular essay (Rosemary Arrojo), developed some very interesting and original ideas, which could be applied to the whole field of postcolonial translation. Overall, this book was perhaps a bit too advanced for my tastes and it was rather difficult to maintain elevated excitement throughout the course of reading it. View all my reviews

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