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Translating Pessoa: agency, creativity, refraction

Wren-Owens, Liz ORCID: 2020. Translating Pessoa: agency, creativity, refraction. Translator: Studies in Intercultural Communication 26 (4) , pp. 380-393. 10.1080/13556509.2020.1904723

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This article analyses the ways in which translations of the Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa into Italian enable us to rethink notions of the agency and creativity of the translator. It suggests that Pessoa is a writer in and of translation, a refracted writer who embodies the potential of translation to become a creative act. It focuses on the ways in which Pessoa is multiply refracted by the translator and writer Antonio Tabucchi through translation, scholarly essays and fictional reconstructions, suggesting that the way in which Tabucchi brings these multiple refractions into dialogue is especially important in highlighting the agency of the translator to (re)construct the reader’s notion of author and text. It thus highlights the agency of the translator and their ability produce an image of the source text and author in a creative process which is in dialogue with other texts and agendas. This article argues that the fragmentary, multilingual and polyphonic nature of Pessoa’s work renders Pessoa a writer who is especially open to being creatively re-written and re-constructed through translation.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Modern Languages
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
ISSN: 1355-6509
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 11 June 2021
Date of Acceptance: 20 July 2020
Last Modified: 06 May 2023 12:30

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