Drawing on cultural theories on translation as propounded by André Lefevere and his appeal to celebrate rather than domesticate the idiosyncrasies of a source culture, this presentation will discuss the art of translation as it pertains to the narrative prose of Romanian-born German novelist, Carmen-Francesca Banciu. Distinctive in style and structure, Banciu’s prose presents an interesting challenge for English language translation of her work. Richly metaphorical, rife with anaphora and characterized with a sentence structure that is skillfully elliptical and allusive, as well as deceptively simple and deliberately suggestive and ambivalent, Banciu’s prose is both playful and profound. In this talk, I will discuss the features of Banciu’s writing that render its translation into English engagingly problematic from both a technical and a cultural-philosophical point of view. On the basis of my own translations, I will also examine some compromises and adopted strategies for honoring the playful and the cultural authenticity of the source text, while also attending to natural, accessible and understandable rendering of it in the target language and resisting the pitfalls of over-domestication.
About the Speaker
Elena Mancini teaches German Language, Literature, Film and Writing at Queens College in New York City. She received her PhD in German Studies from Rutgers University, and has taught at Hunter College, Montclair University and Rutgers. She published a book on German-Jewish gay rights activist, Magnus Hirschfeld with Palgrave. Elena also serves as the Culture Editor of Logos: A Journal of Modern Society and Culture, and is currently working on several German-English translation projects including the writings of Magnus Hirschfeld and works by Carmen-Francesca Banciu.
Cosponsored by the Advanced Training in Greek Poetry Translation and Performance Workshop.