(Translating) book three of Alasdair Gray's Lanark into Hungarian

Szilágyi, Anikó (2013) (Translating) book three of Alasdair Gray's Lanark into Hungarian. MPhil(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

Sections 1 and 2 constitute the critical component of this thesis, and they serve to contextualise the Hungarian translation of Book Three of Alasdair Gray’s <i>Lanark</i>, which follows them. Section 1 is a brief and selective exploration of the history of Hungarian literary translation, which draws on Lawrence Venuti’s concept of the translator’s invisibility to highlight influences that may affect the contemporary Hungarian translator’s work. In Venuti’s Western translation model a transparent target text masquerades as non-translation and creates the illusion of access to an unadulterated original. East European translation has not been shaped by the same historical forces as its Western counterpart, and therefore its theorisation requires a different critical vocabulary, but the notion of invisibility remains relevant. East European literary cultures have been influenced by Communist politics, a collective sense of inferiority in relation to the West, and the need to construct a national identity through art, all of which has led to the development of a cultural paradigm that accords great importance to translation, and views it as a creative, rather than derivative, process. This approach to translation was particularly strong in Hungary in the first half of the twentieth century, when literary translators enjoyed great prestige and freedom in their treatment of source texts. Translations published in the literary journal <i>Nyugat</i> [<i>West</i>], including Dezső Kosztolányi’s translation of Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘The Raven’, reveal assumptions about the nature and purpose of translation that are very different from contemporary Western attitudes.
Section 2 examines the problem of translating simple language into Hungarian. It starts with a discussion of translating <i>Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland</i> and the challenge the repetitive language poses for the translator. It then considers historical factors which may account for the place that the ‘plain style’ has come to occupy in English literary cultures, and contrasts it with the status conferred by linguistic complexity in Hungarian fiction. A close textual analysis of a passage from <i>Lanark</i> illustrates the problem of preserving the linguistically simple yet thematically complex nature of the source text without creating the impression of an oversimplified, unsophisticated and ‘un-literary’ translation. Further problems are explored in this section that emerged during the translation of Book Three of <i>Lanark</i>, and some choices regarding the translation of units of measurement and dialogue are explained.
A Hungarian translation of Book Three of <i>Lanark</i> follows the analytical sections.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Additional Information: The electronic version of this thesis has been edited and some or all third party copyright material removed.
Keywords: Hungarian translation, Alasdair Gray, Lanark
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PH Finno-Ugrian, Basque languages and literatures
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Literature
Supervisor's Name: Willy, Professor Maley and Zsuzsanna, Dr. Varga
Date of Award: 2013
Depositing User: Ms Anikó Szilágyi
Unique ID: glathesis:2013-4754
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 28 Jan 2014 11:10
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 15:33
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/4754

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