La littérature francophone subsaharienne en traduction: Propositions pour l’étude de la circulation d’une littérature "semi-centrale"

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Taking its point of departure in a comparative analysis of the translation flow of eight Francophone Sub-Saharan African novels toward three so-called peripheral literary spaces in Northern Europe – Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands – the article sets out to make an adjustment to the categories prevailing in the existing models based on the source language. The aim is twofold: First, to better account for the international circulation of Francophone literature in translation, second, to examine the translational dynamics of the target languages, thereby contributing to a better understanding of the intermediary role played by different languages and literary centers.

We suggest considering non-Hexagonal Francophone literatures as “semi-central” in the international literary space: central because of the French language and peripheral because of their political and cultural history. This combination creates specific conditions which make these literatures circulate in ways that are not identical either to those of central writers or to those of peripheral writers.

We then argue that these translation flows should be analyzed in terms of “global intranslation.” Such a reversal of the source/target language perspective reveals that the hierarchy of target languages is very different from the source language hierarchy most frequently described. Finally, we propose to take into account the phenomenon of editorial isomorphism (Franssen and Kuipers 2013), which makes it possible to explain the two simultaneous movements observed in our corpus from the beginning of the 21st century: national heterogenization and international homogenization.
Original languageFrench
JournalMeta: Translators' Journal
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)297-320
Publication statusPublished - 2022

ID: 286781761