World Literature, Minor Languages, and the Art of Translation: The Example of Afrikaans

By examining a number of literary works which were published in both Afrikaans and English in the past 25 years in the context of recent studies of the question of translation and world literature, this project will attempt to answer such questions as: Does translation of literary works into major languages represent a danger for the future of minor languages? Is a translated work always inferior to the original? Does the involvement of the author in a translation make a significant difference? What skills does a literary translator most need? To what extent do translations need to be modified to achieve success in the global arena? Interviews with leading Afrikaans writers and translators will complement a study of the texts, taking advantage of Stellenbosch’s centrality in Afrikaans cultural production. The publication of articles arising out of this research, in addition to making a contribution to ongoing debates about these issues, will increase international awareness of the importance and achievement of Afrikaans writing since 1990.

Project leader(s):
  • Derek Attridge (Department of English, University of York)

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