The concept of translation has become central to postcolonial theory in recent decades, offering as it does a useful metaphor or metonym for many of the processes explored within the framework of postcolonial studies. Translation proper, however, remains relatively underexplored and, in many postcolonial multilingual contexts, underexploited. Texts are often read in translation without much attention being paid to the inevitable differences that open up between an original and its translation(s), the figure of the translator remains shadowy, if not invisible, and the particular languages involved in translation in postcolonial societies often still reflect colonial power dynamics. This volume draws together reflections by translators, authors and academics working across three broad geographical areas where the linguistic legacies of French colonial operations are long-lasting and complex, namely Africa, the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean. The perspectives that emerge move beyond traditional views of translation as loss or betrayal and towards a more positive outlook, highlighting the potential for translation to enrich the lives of readers, translators and authors alike, to counter some of the destructive effects of globalisation, and to promote linguistic diversity. In addition, translation is shown to be a most valuable tool in revealing the dynamics and pressures that are relevant to the political and economic contexts in which books are written, read and sold.
Contributors Moradewun Adejunmobi is Professor of African Studies in the African American and African Studies Program at the University of California, Davis. Paul F. Bandia is Professor of Translation Studies in the Department of French at Concordia University, Montreal. Kathryn Batchelor is Lecturer in French and Translation at the University of Nottingham. Claire Bisdorff completed her PhD on the translation of French and English Caribbean literature at the University of Cambridge in 2010. Ruth Bush is a DPhil student in Medieval and Modern Languages at the University of Oxford. Maryse Condé is one of the most studied and beloved writers from Guadeloupe in the French-speaking Caribbean. She is Professor Emerita at Columbia University in the City of New York and divides her time between New York and Paris. Marjolijn de Jager, born in Indonesia and raised in the Netherlands, resides in the USA. Ananda Devi is a Mauritian author who has published numerous works of fiction and poetry. Carol Gilogley is a freelance translator and researcher at the University of St. Andrews. Kathleen Gyssels teaches African diaspora literatures (African American and Caribbean) at Antwerp University. Peter Hawkins is Senior Research Fellow in French at the University of Bristol. Christine Pagnoulle teaches English literatures and translation at the University of Liège. Richard Philcox is Maryse Condé’s husband and translator. His latest translation was Conde's novel Victoire, My Mother's Mother, published by Atria Books in 2010. His translation of Condé’s essays Writing in Maryse Condé will be published in 2013 by Seagull Books. Christine Raguet is Professor of Translation Studies at the Department of English, Sorbonne nouvelle University. Audrey Holdhus Small is Lecturer in French and Francophone Studies at the University of Sheffield. Véronique Tadjo is a writer, artist and academic from Côte d’Ivoire. Born in Paris, she was raised in Abidjan. She is the Head of French Studies and a Professor in the School of Literature, Language and Media at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. Julia Waters is Senior Lecturer in Modern French and Francophone Literature at the University of Reading.