An analytical study of some problems of literary translation: a study of two Arabic translations of K. Gibran's The Prophet

Doctoral thesis English OPEN
Boushaba, S
  • Subject: mem_text_and_place

This thesis deals with the problems of Literary\ud translation nameLy: subjectivity in the interpretation of\ud the original message, the question of stylistic faithfulness\ud and flexibility as regards the form of the original text\ud I\ud and the extreme notion of the impossibility of an adequate\ud translation. It also approaches the problem of equivalence\ud and that of translation units which are raised by the\ud translation process itself and are therefore reLevant to the\ud probLems of literary translation.\ud The beginning of the thesis entitled 'A Brief and General\ud Review of Translation Theory' gives a brief account of the\ud history of. translation theory. It also considers the\ud ambiguity of the process of translation and presents a brief\ud description of the different types of translation.\ud The first chapter, is devoted to the problem of\ud equivalence. Equivalence is approached in terms of. the\ud dichotomy sty1lstic vs. communicative equivalence. This\ud bipartite division is investigated to see whether it can be\ud applied in the transLatioh process. The second chapter is devoted to the problem of\ud translation units. Special emphasis is put on the\ud difficulty of defining translation units because of the\ud subjective nature of the translation process. A possible\ud solution to this problem is suggested. -\ud The third chapter deals with the question of subjectivity\ud in the interpretation of the meaning of a source language\ud literary text. Special emphasis is put on the relationship\ud between the meaning of the source language text and the\ud author's concepts which condition it. Such relationship is\ud investigated in order to see whether it can help the\ud translator to avoid a speculative and subjective\ud interpretation of the original message.\ud The fourth chapter discusses the questiorr of faithfulness\ud and flexibility as regards the form of a source language\ud literary text. In this study, the translator's dynamic role\ud in reading the original text is highlighted. The\ud consequence of such dynamic role, as regards faithfulness\ud and unfaithfulness to the form of the original version, is\ud analysed. The fifth chapter considers the extreme notion of the\ud impossibility of an adequate translation'. The quality of\ud a literary translation is assessed not in terms of its\ud identity to the stylistic effect of the original text but in\ud terms of its approximate correspondence to it. Such\ud criterion is suggested as an appropriate means of assessing\ud the adequacy of a literary translation and consequently the\ud extreme notion of the impossibility of an adequate\ud translation' is found to be irrelevant. -\ud A comparison between the original English version of Gibran\ud KahliL Gibran's The Prophet and its two Arabic translations\ud is given as an illustration to most of the views and\ud suggestions made in this study.
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