A Stylistic Approach to Literary Translation in Periodicals: The Case of Virginia Woolf into French
- literary translation,
- French literary periodicals,
- translational stylistics,
- Virginia Woolf,
- reception studies
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This essay analyses the discursive presence of Virginia Woolf in French literary journals of the 1920s and 1930s, in terms of both critical discourse (articles and reviews devoted to the writer and her work) and translated discourse (occasional translation of short excerpts inserted within critical commentary, or longer instalments from her novels and short fiction). It mainly deals with issues at the crossroads of periodical, reception and translation studies – chiefly translational stylistics – to investigate whether the translation choices and strategies (particularly the deviations from the original) adopted by French intellectuals writing on Woolf in literary periodicals might be said to be in line with the appraisal strategies they enacted, and the role these played in the creation and dissemination of Woolf’s authorial profile in interwar France. The analysis will demonstrate that changes mainly concern stylistic issues such as speech and thought presentation, transitivity patterns, rhythmic and musical effects, and make the target text more lexically varied in compliance with the stylistic conventions of the target language.