The Brazil-based international journal for Translation Studies Cadernos de Tradução has brought out a special issue on “Retranslation in Context” with contributions by my respected colleagues Piet Van Poucke (UGent), Charlotte Bollaert (UGent), and Francis Mus (KU Leuven, ULiège), and many other Translation Studies scholars. I’m happy to have been able to contribute as well, with the article “And now for something completely different … Once again the same book by Dostoevsky: A (con)textual analysis of early and recent Dostoevsky retranslations into Dutch” (download PDF file). There’s no paywall, the special issue is available online – as all our research output should be. This is the abstract of my article:
During the last 10 to 15 years, the Dutch-language book market has witnessed an increase in the number of Dostoevsky retranslations. Whereas some observers explain this development by referring to the ageing of previous translations, the translators themselves tend to justify their translations by calling them “better translations”. By offering a comparative contextual and textual analysis of early and recent Dostoevsky retranslations into Dutch, this article tries to explain the phenomena of retranslation in general and of recent Dostoevsky retranslation into Dutch in particular. It does so by going beyond the popular assumptions, which show close ties to the Retranslation Hypothesis. On the basis of a historical analysis, which shows that the first Dostoevsky retranslations into Dutch were more oriented towards acceptability than the first translations, it is argued that the concept of norms, as conceived by Gideon Toury, remains a better tool than the Retranslation Hypothesis to interpret and to explain the phenomenon of the Dostoevsky retranslations into Dutch. However, because of translators’ possibilities to go against the norms, which is illustrated through the work of contemporary Dutch translator Hans Boland, norms too fail to provide us with a full explanation.
Boulogne, Pieter. 2019. “And now for something completely different … Once again the same book by Dostoevsky: A (con)textual analysis of early and recent Dostoevsky retranslations into Dutch.” Cadernos de Tradução. Edição Regular Temática – Retranslation in Context. 39:1, pp. 117-144. DOI: 10.5007/2175-7968.2019v39n1p117