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Brzozowski, Jerzy (2015): Autour de la traduction. Paris: Orizons, 280 p.[Record]

  • Gleb Dmitrienko

…more information

  • Gleb Dmitrienko
    Université de Montréal, Montréal, Canada

It’s been argued recently by some translation scholars (Chesterman 2006, Simeoni 2007 among others) that the observable expansion of Translation and Interpretation Studies (TIS) over the past few decades was due to a series of paradigm shifts or “turns” which marked the transition of the Western TIS from the narrowly linguistic context towards much broader horizons of “poststructural” multidisciplinarity. However, the recent turns towards cultural, social or gender studies had some visible side effects on the contemporary human sciences. On the one hand, the above-mentioned turns in human sciences have eroded the domain boundaries thus leading to the “end of theory” in its traditional understanding. On the other hand, the retreat from the “old school” formalist paradigm has led to significant depreciation of some formalist approaches developed within other scholarly practices and to their consequent elimination from the map of legitimate research within the Western scholarly tradition thus creating a theoretical gap between “the West and the rest” (Simeoni 2007: 17). At the same time, even within the Western tradition, translation scholars still lack a shared understanding of how to delineate the actual context of research (Chesterman 2006: 9) as they may be faced with two diverging strategies: while transatlantic scholars tend to align themselves with cultural or social moves which seem to deny any disciplinary boundaries, their colleagues in Europe, where structuralism was more firmly entrenched, are more inclined to work from within the more traditional fields of human sciences (Simeoni 2007). The necessity to take into account various diverging strategies becomes especially important if taking the challenge to discover the development of human sciences in “frontier countries” where the national scholarly tradition developed under the influence of two or more competing paradigms as happened, for example, with the Translation Studies in Poland. Throughout all its history and especially in the last two centuries, Poland has been alternately influenced by two opposite cultural and political forces. Culturally, Polish scholars have always aligned themselves with the European tradition, while politically Poland was constantly affected by its closest neighbour – Russia. Of course, this controversial duality could not help shaping the Polish field of translation. This assumption may be easily supported by the recent monograph “Autour de la traduction” by Brzozowski, published in 2015 in Paris. The book by this eminent Polish translation scholar and translator is a collection of fourteen articles which he wrote and published in the French language from 1997 to 2015. The selected publications represent “successive steps of the research on the comparative literature” (p. 14). Seeking “to provide his reader with descriptive tools for translation analysis” (p. 16), Brzozowski gives his book a symbolic title – “Autour de la traduction” which is a perfect solution for a collection of papers which deal with a vast range of problems in the field of translation. Besides, the book’s title echoes one of the preceding publications of Orizons edition – “Autour de la retraduction” (Monti and Schnyder 2012). Brzozowski’s monograph comprises three parts with each one of them addressing a particular set of translational problems. Thus, the division of the book allows some subject differentiation of the articles presented in each partition. However, one can’t help noticing the fact that as a scholar specializing in comparative literature, Brzozowski has allocated two thirds of his book to particular questions of literary translation. A closer look at the second and third partition of the book allows to conclude that the difference between those two lies in the object of research rather than in its subject. Both partitions present several case studies in literary translation though unlike the variability of authors and …