Miodrag Sibinović

The Creative Element in Translation as Part of the Literary Process

The Creative Element in Translation as Part of the Literary Process


The generally accepted ideal of conveying all the most important elements of the original in the translation of a literary work is merely a theoretical construct. The focus must not be on what is omitted only but on the entire complex of transformations and additions perceived by the reader of the translation as genuine elements of the original.

In view of this, the question of the nature and kinds of the translator's creativity in literary translation acquires special importance. This approach might be based on Roman Jakobson's subdivision of translation into intralingual, interlingual and intersemiotic. This classification, however, must be expanded, for translation is not only a speech act but also implies a conflict of two cultures, a fact recognized by contemporary linguistically oriented theories.

The aesthetic content of a literary work is not based exclusively on language signs. Analysis of literary translations must be centered round semantico–emotional and aesthetic rather than linguistic signs. To apply this concept in practice, it is necessary to subdivide the types of creative process in translation into three categories: artistic–non-artistic, general artistic (characteristic of all kinds of language translation), and literary proper.

According to this schema, artistic–non-artistic translation covers literary–theoretical, historic–literary, philosophical, and psychological interpretation of the content of the literary work in question, as well as integral literary–critical interpretation comprising all or some elements of the four above-mentioned approaches.

General artistic kinds of translation may be divided into translations realized through interaction of two various arts and translations realized in the framework of one art. The former include the performance of a dramatic literary work on the stage, on TV, in the cinema or on the radio; recitation of a lyrical or epic literary text, etc. The later may be said to include a vocal recital of a musical work by a soloist or group of singers, an instrumental performance by a soloist of a piece of music, various types of instrumental performance by groups, and the painting or drawing of a single picture in various techniques crayon, coal, watercolour, oil, etc.

Each of the kinds and forms listed above has a number of important distinctive traits. At the same time, though, they have features in common with literary translation proper; the need therefore arises for a joint study of these kinds of translation at a higher level of abstraction. At this level, the theory of translation of literary works cannot be regarded as a linguistically substantiated discipline.

To solve the tasks posited here, a detailed system of the forms of translation activity characteristic of translation of literary works must be worked out. Tentatively, seven groups of such forms may be identified. 1. The finding of functionally equivalent stylistic–linguistic solutions in accordance with the diachronic and synchronic characteristics of the language and literature of the addressee. 2. Substitution of familiar concepts with the aim of obtaining connotative meanings which carry the main semantic load in the original. In the process, the play of interpenetrating denotative and connotative meanings is retained. 3. Substitution aimed at achieving a freshness of utterance equivalent to the original; rejection of trite rhymes and banal epithets. 4. Transformation of the rhythmical–metrical level of the work in accordance with a) the specificity of two languages; b) literary traditions existing in the two languages; functional equivalence. 5. Selective omission of parts of the utterance to obtain a rhythmical–metrical matrix equivalent to the original. 6. Addition of parts of an utterance non–existent in the original but necessary in the positions which remained, due to language differences, textually unfilled in a corresponding rhythmical–metrical matrix. 7. Compensation—within one and the same poetic–linguistic category.

На Растку објављено: 2019-12-22
Датум последње измене: 2019-12-22 16:40:25

Пројекат Растко / Филологија и лингвистика / Библиотека Миодраг Сибиновић