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Polsko-postkolonialne podobieństwa? Recepcja tłumaczonej literatury postkolonialnej w Polsce (1970–2010) [Polish-Postcolonial similarities? Polish reception of translated Postcolonial literature (1970-2010)]

Gołuch, Dorota ORCID: 2017. Polsko-postkolonialne podobieństwa? Recepcja tłumaczonej literatury postkolonialnej w Polsce (1970–2010) [Polish-Postcolonial similarities? Polish reception of translated Postcolonial literature (1970-2010)]. Przekładaniec. Special issue: (Post)kolonializm w przekładzie [(Post)colonialism in Translation] 33 , pp. 46-70. 10.4467/16891864PC.16.023.7346

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Many studies of postcolonial translation feature analyses of translational and publishing decisions and their potential influences on the relationships between the colonizers and the colonized (e.g. Batchelor, Jacquemond, Spivak, Tymoczko). This article proposes a different methodology, focusing instead on the presence of translated postcolonial literature in Poland through a systematic, discursive study of its reception. Based on the results of an unpublished doctoral study, which analysed nearly a thousand Polish reviews discussing African, Indian, Caribbean and Middle Eastern writing and published between 1970 and 2010, the article demonstrates that Polish reviewers increasingly often affirm Polish-postcolonial similarities, even if Orientalist othering discourses remain present in the reviews. This finding contributes to timely debates about Polish self-perceptions. Emphasising otherness or exoticism of postcolonial texts and contexts, the reviewers tend to write from the position of Europeans and identify with Orientalist biases. Yet, the emerging discourse comparing postcolonial experiences of migration, independence struggle and post-independence complexes with Poland’s own past and present offers an interesting counterbalance to a long-standing tradition of othering perceptions. Focusing on specific similarities, as opposed to abstract universalist discourses of shared humanity, some reviewers seem to think of Poland and themselves in postcolonial terms. Furthermore, the article contributes to scholarship on Polish postcolonialism. Numerous incisive studies examined the Partitions of Poland (1795-1918), Nazi occupation (1939-1945) and Soviet domination (1945-89) in terms of colonisation, at the same time employing postcolonial tools to revisit issues of Polish domination over Belarusians, Lithuanians and Ukrainians, as well as Polish attitudes to non-European colonised peoples (Bakuła, Buchholtz, Cavanagh, Fiut, Gosk, Janion, Kłobucka, Kołodziejczyk, Skórczewski, Thompson, Wojda and others). Notably, the themes of Poland’s status as a colonised and colonising country within the immediate region, on the one hand, and Polish perceptions of non-European postcolonial peoples, on the other, tend to be explored separately (cf. Wajda 2015). This article, however, suggests that a Polish postcolonial self-image might be emerging in response to an encounter with translated postcolonial writing and generally argues for bringing the two thematic strands together to explore further interdependencies between Poland’s postcolonialism and Polish attitudes to non-European postcolonials.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Modern Languages
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PB Modern European Languages
P Language and Literature > PG Slavic, Baltic, Albanian languages and literature
P Language and Literature > PI Oriental languages and literatures
P Language and Literature > PL Languages and literatures of Eastern Asia, Africa, Oceania
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: postcolonial translation; Polish postcolonialism; reception studies; discourse analysis; Orientalism; solidarity
Language other than English: Polish
Publisher: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego
ISSN: 1425-6851
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 8 May 2018
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2023 05:02

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