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Unconscious discourses in translation

Klein, Lea 2022. Unconscious discourses in translation. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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The present thesis aims to offer a new way of looking at how Translation Studies can incorporate Lacanian psychoanalysis for the study and practice of translation. Previous attempts at using psychoanalysis within the field of Translation Studies appear to have focused primarily on the translator’s unconscious and how its influences may be overcome, neutralised or at least minimised. This has often included analyses of the translator’s relationship with the author, for example in the context of the Oedipal triangle which likens the author to the father and the target language to the mother. While this thesis does not intend to forsake the above approach, its objective is not psychoanalysing the translator. Rather, I aim to demonstrate how Lacan allows us to recognise the core of untranslatability which is present in any text. Resting on the Lacanian understanding of language that it is at its core arbitrary and meaningless, I will discuss in this thesis how the encounter with untranslatability poses a crucial point in translation which perpetuates its practice. I will do so by using Lacan’s Discourses of the Master, Hysteric, Analyst, and Capitalist to explore disavowed structures and unconscious patterns in translation. I suggest that these discourse structures offer the possibility of an original understanding of the interrelations among different elements involved in translation, thus illustrating various approaches and mechanisms that structure translation practice. Most importantly, my use of the Analyst’s Discourse pattern will demonstrate above mentioned importance of the translator’s encounter with untranslatability. This will be done by adapting the four discourse structures developed by Lacan to include concepts from translation and using these new patterns to analyse selected theories and approaches from Translation Studies. The analysis will show that patterns like the four adapted discourse structures can be found in different areas of translation, thus offering an original way of exploring the study and practice of translation.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Modern Languages
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 9 August 2022
Last Modified: 09 Aug 2022 14:20

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