The aim of this volume is to use the problematic of translation in both its metaphorical and literal acceptations in order to explore the concept of identity and its manifestations in cultural, artistic and literary production, particularly, but not exclusively, in postcolonial societies which have recently undergone profound upheaval. The changing nature of identity in its local and global manifestations is examined as well as the manner in which an identity may be “translated” for the consumption of a specific market. To what extent can translation and the adaptation that it implies furnish access to a foreign culture? Is it possible or even desirable to attempt to transcend cultural barriers through translation and/or adaptation, whether the translator’s agenda be literary, political, ethical or even metaphysical? When we attempt to transfer meaning from one medium or language to another what are the challenges and pitfalls facing the cultural interpreter or “translator”. In an era of late-capitalist globalisation of culture has homogenisation replaced local specificity or is the latter merely recuperated as a facet of marketing strategy? These are some of the questions which will be addressed by the authors of the pieces collected here as they seek to negotiate a philosophy of translation for the beginning of the twenty-first century.
Madelena Gonzalez is Professor of English Literature at Avignon University but has also taught translation for many years. Her most recent publication is, Fiction after the Fatwa: Salman Rushdie and the Charm of Catastrophe (2005). She has published widely on contemporary fiction and her latest project is a critical study of the world novel in English.Francine Tolron is professor at Avignon University where she teaches Commonwealth Studies and is in charge of the Masters programme in Literary Translation. She is currently completing a French-New Zealand bilingual anthology to be published in New Zealand in 2007.