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Reading: Translating British and US-American Graphic Novels into French: A Conversation with the Tran...

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Research article

Translating British and US-American Graphic Novels into French: A Conversation with the Translator Lili Sztajn

Author:

Isabelle Guillaume

Université Bordeaux Montaigne, FR
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Abstract

This article is based on an interview with Lili Sztajn, a French professional translator. Among many other translations, Sztajn has adapted graphic novels by Robert Crumb (The Book of Genesis), Alison Bechdel (Fun Home, Are You My Mother?) and Posy Simmonds (Gemma Bovery, Tamara Drewe). The verbal dimension is particularly developed in all of these graphic novels, which often rely on literary devices such as textual allusions, double meanings and, in some cases, self-translation. Sztajn's body of work lends itself particularly well to a study of translation because of the specific challenges raised by such source texts as these. In order to shed light on the practicalities of comics translation, the article provides many excerpts from Sztajn's illuminating interview. The first section includes contextual data regarding the practical aspects of translation and the evolving status of translators in France over the last forty years. The article then turns to a detailed examination of specific translation problems found in examples taken from Crumb, Bechdel and Simmonds, discussing the choices made by Sztajn. Finally, it considers Sztajn’s ethos of translation.
How to Cite: Guillaume, I. “Translating British and US-American Graphic Novels into French: A Conversation with the Translator Lili Sztajn”. New Readings, vol. 15, 2015, pp. 93–110. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18573/newreadings.107
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Published on 01 Jan 2015.
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