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Translating British and US-American Graphic Novels into French: A Conversation with the Translator Lili Sztajn

Guillaume, Isabelle 2015. Translating British and US-American Graphic Novels into French: A Conversation with the Translator Lili Sztajn. New Readings 15 , pp. 93-110. 10.18573/newreadings.107

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This article is based on an interview with Lili Sztajn, a French professional translator. Among many other translations, Sztajn has adapted graphic novels by Robert Crumb (The Book of Genesis), Alison Bechdel (Fun Home, Are You My Mother?) and Posy Simmonds (Gemma Bovery, Tamara Drewe). The verbal dimension is particularly developed in all of these graphic novels, which often rely on literary devices such as textual allusions, double meanings and, in some cases, self-translation. Sztajn's body of work lends itself particularly well to a study of translation because of the specific challenges raised by such source texts as these. In order to shed light on the practicalities of comics translation, the article provides many excerpts from Sztajn's illuminating interview. The first section includes contextual data regarding the practical aspects of translation and the evolving status of translators in France over the last forty years. The article then turns to a detailed examination of specific translation problems found in examples taken from Crumb, Bechdel and Simmonds, discussing the choices made by Sztajn. Finally, it considers Sztajn’s ethos of translation.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Modern Languages
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NC Drawing Design Illustration
P Language and Literature > PB Modern European Languages
P Language and Literature > PQ Romance literatures
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
P Language and Literature > PS American literature
Publisher: Cardiff University Press
ISSN: 1359-7485
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 06 May 2023 00:39

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