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Publication Detail
Translation Methods and the Notion of the Translator's Visibility: Evaluating the Latest Translations of Alexander Pushkin's "Eugene Onegin" into English
ABSTRACT The issue of translation methods has been discussed in one way or another since the birth of translation itself. However, shortly before the turn of the 21st century it was promoted as the focus of contemporary translation studies by Lawrence Venuti, with the publication of his book The Translator’s Invisibility: A History of Translation in 1995. In this book Venuti gives names to two translation methods, domesticating and foreignizing, and advocates visibility, or self-positioning, for the translator in his or her work. Venuti’s ideas have triggered various polemical reactions in translation studies, the reverberations from which are still heard today. My thesis is a modest contribution to the development of our understanding of the two translation methods and the notion of the translator’s visibility which is closely linked to them. In terms of the scale, data modalities and methodologies used it is a pioneering study. Pushkin’s novel in verse Eugene Onegin (1830s), one of the key texts of Russian literature, is chosen to provide data for my research based on the following five contemporary translations into English: Douglas Hofstadter (1999), Olivia Emmet and Svetlana Makourenkova (1999), Tom Beck (2004), Henry Hoyt (2008) and Stanley Mitchell (2008). The focus of my investigations is on the novel’s book covers, the translator’s introductory chapters and other supplementary materials, and the text of Chapter Five of the novel. Visual images, paratextual and textual features of Eugene Onegin have been systematically analysed in order to identify several patterns of the translators’ self-positioning in their work and to specify what constitutes domesticating and foreignizing translation. My findings reveal a strong intention on the part of translators to be visible in their work and also point to the lack of indicators for defining the two methods to constitute a simple bi-polar contrast.
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