Respectus Philologicus
Respectus Philologicus

Respectus philologicus eISSN 2335-2388

2019, vol. 35(40), pp.195–210 DOI:

Non-linearity and/in Translation: On Complex Strategies in the Ukrainian Rendition of Joyce’s Novel-Hypertext “Ulysses”

Mariia Bondarenko

Ivan Franko National University of Lviv
The Hryhoriy Kochur Department of Translation Studies and Contrastive Linguistics
1 Universytetska St., Lviv, 79000, Ukraine
Research interests: translation history, literary translation, reception of Joycean prose in Ukraine

Summary. By positing that translation is the main manifestation of “interliterarity” (in D. Ďurišin’s conceptualization) that brings to the fore the meta-creational capacities of the target literature, the present article attempts (1) to study a translatability potential of a hypertext as based on the Ukrainian translation of James Joyce’s novel-hypertext Ulysses, and (2) to justify the role of its reception in the Ukrainian literary field as a force for language and culture development. The synthesis of a “verbal music” with a mosaic of texts and narratives – imitated, playfully transformed or directly quoted – is claimed to be a key source of hypertextuality in Ulysses. In this line of reasoning, the paper particularly focuses on (1) the role of both overcoming cultural barriers and leaving a space for reader’s co-creativity while transferring of intertexts; (2) the approaches to interpretation of parody and pastiche as forms of writing-as-translation practice; (3) J. Wawrzycka’s concept regarding translation of musicalized fiction as trans-semantification, i. e. attending to literariness of the text; (4) the idea of translator’s visibility attributed to the Ukrainian re-languaging of musicalized fiction.

Keywords: James Joyce, hypertextuality, intertextuality, verbal music, literary translation.

Submitted 30/11/ 2018 / Accepted 26/02/2019
Įteikta 2018 11 30 / Priimta 2019 02 26
Copyright © 2019 Mariia Bondarenko. Published by Vilnius University Press
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY-NC-ND 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium provided the original author and source are credited.

Mariia Bondarenko holds BA (2016) and MA (2018) in Translation Studies. Since September 2018, she is a PhD student in Translation Studies at Ivan Franko National University of Lviv (scholarly supervisor – Iryna Odrekhivska) and an assistant lecturer of English and Translation. Her research interests focus on studying lingual aesthetic aspects and social historical conditions of the reception of James Joyce’s oeuvre in Ukraine. She also works as English-Ukrainian translator and interpreter.


The present research focuses on investigating the lingual stylistic and pragmatic aspects of rendering the phenomenon of hypertext from the target reader-oriented perspective. The object of the study is the novel Ulysses by James Joyce and its first complete Ukrainian translation by Oleksandr Terekh and Oleksandr Mokrovolskyi published in 2015.

Relying on the theoretical provisions elaborated by R. Bathes, G. Genette, D. Ďurišin, F. Senn, and J. Wawrzycka, it is assumed that intertextuality and intermediality (i.e. verbal music) constitute the main source of hypertextuality in Ulysses. The multiplicity of reading and interpretation strategies, which are often experimental, justify both the non-linear nature of the novel and the Ukrainian translators’ approach. Hence, this article is the first attempt to analyze the key challenges – both linguistic and extralinguistic ones – facing the Ukrainian translators of Ulysses and the respective strategies for rendering hypertextuality in Ulysses. Additionally, the analysis proves the meta-creational potential of the hypertext that serves as a tool for target language revival and development of the target literary field.

The overall corpus of the analyzed material, namely examples of allusions, quotations, parody, and musical references, comprises 100 items. Thus, the detailed analysis of 5 items pinpoints the theoretical assumptions provided in the article. The paper is an empirical corpus-based case study with a special focus on the factors impeding or facilitating the reception of the literary hypertext by the target reader and its artistic potential within a target literary field.

1. Non-linearity in literary studies from the Ulysses perspective

The beginning of the 20th century marked the significance of the new artistic mode of expression known as modernism, which dethroned the supremacy of the traditional narrative. The new literary movement drastically changed the understanding of fiction as the whole, and the structure of the novel in particular. Since then the attention has been attributed to the interaction between the reader and the text: the boundaries of the latter are determined by the imagination of the former. The literary text virtually presents a polymedia multivocal unity regenerated in each interpretation. In this scope, poststructuralists (i.e. Derrida 1997, Barthes 1974) overtly challenge the vision of the text as a linear entity, since a linear narration cannot adequately represent a non-linearity of thought. The complexity of human consciousness does require an extra-complex multifaceted form of expression. Hence it formulates a new ontology of texts, which lied in their complex, non-linear, and performative nature.

In our view, Ulysses by James Joyce is one of the brightest examples of such a brand new approach. The novel represents a mixture of various texts, narratives, and elements of other semiotic systems becoming an object of interdisciplinary research. Considered as an antithesis to “traditional” novel, Ulysses no longer has a centre, beginning or end: instead, one story is described from 18 different perspectives. The work cannot only be “read” in the usual sense of the word but also “listened to” due to numerous musical references. Taking into account the aforementioned points, Ulysses can be defined as a hypertext.

2. Towards the phenomena of hypertextuality and interliterarity

A term hypertext was introduced by Thomas Nelson in 1960. The scholar defined it as “a non-sequential writing – a text that branches and allows choices to the reader… a series of chunks connected by links which offer the reader different pathways” (Nelson cited in Landow 2006: 3). Afterwards, the hypertext theory was greatly developed by a number of literary critics and philosophers. Drawing the line between lisible (readerly, i.e. traditional – in our understanding) and scriptible (writerly, i.e. hypertext) text, the French scholar Roland Barthes describes the latter as an ideal one:

…This text is a galaxy of signifiers, not a structure of signifieds; it has no beginning; it is reversible; we gain access to it by several entrances, none of which can be authoritatively declared to be the main one; the codes it mobilizes extend as far as the eye can reach, they are indeterminable [...]; the systems of meaning can take over this absolutely plural text, but their number is never closed, based as it is on the infinity of language (Barthes 1974: 5–6).

On the other hand, Gérard Genette (1997) puts forward the notion of transtextuality, i. e. all that set the text in a relationship, either obvious or concealed, with other pre-existing texts (or hypotexts). Genette explains the hypertext as “any text derived from a previous one either through simple transformation, which I shall simply call from now on a transformation, or through indirect transformation, which I shall label imitation” (1997: 8).

Following this, the hypertext can be interpreted either as an independent work of art or an imitated/transformed hypotext – depending on the interpretation strategy chosen by the reader. The latter decides whether to “click on the link” and be transferred to another text or to continue reading the present one. That being so, the reader’s choice creates a form, structure, and content of a hypertext. Giving prominence to Genette’s idea, the article suggests that the foundation of any hypertext – obviously a polyphonic unity – consists of a great variety of hypotexts (both verbal ones and products of intersemiotic translation), as well as different forms of intertextuality.

Jacques Derrida (1997), in turn, sees the text as an endless chain of signifiers, which point to other signifiers never reaching a final meaning. In this case, any translator activates his/her associative logic, but not a deductive one, which leads to his/her building the hypertextual network by means of the target language that might involve translator’s memory, interests, experiences, and curiosity. In fact, the translator re-writes the hypertext in accordance with the cultural/historical time he/she lives in.

Roland Barthes (2007) treats the writer not as the one who can be defined by his/her role or value, but only “by a certain awareness of discourse”, for whom the language constitutes a problem, since s/he is aware of “the depth of the language”, but not its instrumentality or beauty. Drawing the parallel between a writer (or rather “scriptor”) and a critic, Barthes claims that both of them equally participate in the process of text creation. Correspondingly, a translator of the hypertext – acting as its most scrupulous critic – deals with the subtleties of both source and target languages, and, thus, is no less important. Therefore, a translation of the hypertext is the same act of writing.

Dionýz Ďurišin – a representative of Slovak School of Comparative Literature – suggested studying a translation as a principal form of interliterarity. The cultures of different nations – even seemingly alien ones – do not develop in isolation, but constantly share the art forms, plots, and literary techniques. To this point, the translation is believed to be a twofold, i. e. interliterary phenomenon. In other words, translation is a phenomenon of inter-literary relationality. Embodying the “original” aesthetics, it simultaneously integrates into the target culture by being adapted to the needs of the target audience. Thus, Ďurišin views translation as a creative equivalent (Ďurišin cited in Vajdová 2015), i.e. a manifestation of the new original. Outlining a relative autonomy of translated work, the scholar considered translation to be the expression of “a movement between and inside literatures”, i.e. interliterarity process (Vajdová 2017: 490). To explicate, Durišin opened a vantage point of looking at translation in terms of the movement of “the literary” across cultures and literatures.

As the matter of fact, the development of the Ukrainian literature and, consequently, language has been majorly fueled by translations. The Ukrainian writers were also translators, who were surely inspired by both world classics and modernist literary aesthetics. What is more, under the Soviet ideology, translation proved to be the only way to practice language and incorporate, at least implicitly, new artistic forms of expressions, or new “literary”. Only over the last two decades, translators have intensively been focusing on taking the Ukrainian literature in a new “postcolonial” direction, which also justifies herein the function of translation as meta-creation.

3. Ulysses in Ukrainian:
complex translation at the backdrop of complex reality

Joyce’s novel-hypertext has been challenging the translators all over the world. As far as the first translation of Ulysses was published in 1927 (German translation) and 1929 (French translation), the Ukrainian one travelled a long way. Though the Ukrainian critical metatexts exploring Joyce’s artistic method were published as early as in the 30s of the 20th century (to name, quite elaborate publications by the Ukrainian literary critic Daria Vikonska), the first attempts to re-create the novel held off till 60s. In the intervening years, Ukraine endured tough times: the communist regime virtually eradicated the springs of the Ukrainian literary modernism, born due to the activity of representatives of the Executed Renaissance. The subsequent cultural and language development went underground for years. However, 1966 marked a midstream of a relative regime relaxation: it was the year when the Episodes 4, 6, and the fragment of Episode 18 were translated into Ukrainian by Oleksandr Terekh and published in the literary journal Vsesvit. Still, due to the lack of thorough research, poor international contacts and, ultimately, inaccessibility of the major precedent text – the Bible – which was strictly prohibited, the attempts to translate and publish the Ukrainian Ulysses were deadlocked. Hence, almost fifty-year-long work of Oleksandr Terekh was finished by his colleague Oleksandr Mokrovolskyi in the times of independent Ukraine. Owing to the efforts of Vydavnytstvo Zhupanskoho publishing house, the first complete Ukrainian edition of the novel came out in 2015.

4. Re-creating Joycean hypertext: intertextual underpinnings translated

Relying on the idea of dialogism, earlier suggested by Mikhail Bakhtin, Julia Kristeva (Kristeva 1986: 37) describes the phenomenon of intertextuality as “a mosaic of quotations, where any text is the absorption and transformation of another” (Kristeva 1986: 37). Once being introduced into the canvas of another literary work, the (inter)text changes the latter and is itself being changed. Accordingly, the presence of an intertextual element always perplexes the perception of the text, creating an effect of unexpectedness. The reader is required to be familiar with a precedent text born in a vertical context.

The Ukrainian scholar Floriy Batsevysch (Бацевич 2008) defines the precedent text as a text significant to an individual or a group of people, which is often referred to in their discourse. Hence, it is either widely known by the bearers of a certain culture (e. g. pieces of national literature, folklore elements etc.) or may become a universal legacy (classic literature, Bible etc.). Additionally, the intertextual traces are created in the vertical context, i. e. a historical philological context of a given literary work and background knowledge the reader is expected to have (Ахманова, Гюббенет 1977). Allusions, reminiscences, and quotations are the main sources for the vertical context of a literary work.

Proceeding from the aforementioned points, there are different strategies for translating intertextuality. Basil Hatim and Ian Mason (1990) pointed out that the translator should first pay attention to the pragmatic potential of the utterance. Transferring the perlocutionary force, i.e. the intended effect of intertextual elements, is suggested to be of the primary importance.

The Russian scholar Galina Denisova (Денисова 2003) insists that the choice of the strategy in translation depends on the type of encyclopedia the intertextual element belongs to. The classification presented below (see Fig. 1) illustrates the scholar’s approach in detail, therefore, sketching possible itineraries the translator may opt for in dealing with intertextuality.


Fig 1. Strategies applicable to translating the intertextual elements

According to the classification offered by Denisova, those intertextual elements that refer to universal encyclopedia include quotations, allusions, and reminiscences from world classics and Bible. They comprise an essential part of the culture of the English-speaking world and are recognized by the Anglophone reader. In order to reproduce the intertexts created with Biblical quotations interlaced in the text, the canonical translation existing in the culture is usually used. However, as Ulysses is full of inverted citations and hidden allusions often creating the ironic effect and the wordplay, the translator is to account for preserving both intertextual and additional stylistic effect in the target text.

Traditionally, Joyce refers to Douay-Rheims Bible – the first officially authorized English Catholic Bible translation done in 1582–1610. Considering the fact that Joyce was brought up in the traditions of Roman Catholicism that comprised then the largest religious group in Ireland, this Bible is recognized as the canonical text in Irish culture.

One of the passages occurring in the first episode of Ulysses depicts the main character Stephen Dedalus and his neighbours Buck Mullingan and Haines having breakfast. In the repertoire of Buck Mulligan, the reader comes across the abundance of black humour, full of religious and literary allusions, which can be exemplified in the passage below. The last line of the passage is suggested to be an allusion to the episode from the Gospel of Matthew describing apostle Peter’s realization that he has betrayed Jesus three times over the night as it was earlier predicted by him. Douay-Rheims Bible provides the following interpretation of this line: “And Peter remembered the word of Jesus which he had said: Before the cock crow, thou wilt deny me thrice. And going forth, he wept bitterly” (Matthew 26:75). In Joyce’s text the pun is intended: wept bitterly / met Butterly.

Come out, Kinch. You have eaten all we left, I suppose.

Resigned he passed out with grave words and gait, saying, wellnigh with sorrow:

And going forth he met Butterly. (Joyce 1922: 14).

Khodimo, Kinchyku. Ty vzhe, mabut, doiv use, shcho lyshalosia na stoli.

Vin vyishov, upokoryvshysia svoii doli, povazhnoiu khodoiu, z povazhnymy slovamy na vustakh i vyholosyv z maizhe spravdeshnim sumom:

Vin z domu vyishov i Masnychku zdybav. (Джойс 2015: 19).

However, Ukrainian translators did not preserve either the wordplay or an intertextual link having referred to none of the Ukrainian versions of the Bible. In fact, the lexeme “Butterly” does not exist in the English vocabulary or its dialects. Still, Terekh and Mokrovolskyi rendered this lexical unit with a word “Masnychka” preserving a capital letter – the word is defined as “a special device used for making cream or sour cream” (Білодід 1971/1981). As far as “Butterly” is capitalized, it is reasonable to suggest that this may be the last name. Indeed, the reference to the person named Maurice Butterly occurs in Episode 15 of Ulysses:

Ah, naughty, naughty! (He eats a raw turnip offered him by Maurice Butterly, farmer.) (Joyce 1922: 435).

Shelma, okh i shelma! (zyidaie syru ripku, yaku prynis yomu fermer Maurice Butterly.) (Джойс 2015: 449).

Thus, Ulysses proves to be an echo chamber – the text which contains reverberation of both other texts existing before and its own parts. As one can notice, Ukrainian translators just transliterated the last name in the second case, breaking the hypertextual links.

The novel contains a large number of references to the world’s literary legacy, e. g. Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets, poems written by Whitman, Blake, Byron etc. Their deciphering requires the reader to have a rich cultural horizon. Most works are successfully represented in the Ukrainian literary field through several retranslations.

For instance, the multiple references to Dante’s Divine Comedy require a special focus. One of the passages, which opens up Proteus the Episode 3 of Ulysses, contains quite an implicated reference to the figure of Aristotle and his ideas concerning forms of visible and audible outlined in Books II and III of De Anima (Thornton 1973). Moreover, Joyce quotes the lines from Divine Comedy by Dante (Inferno Canto IV, 131) where Aristotle is indirectly referred to as one of the non-Christians dwelling in the Limbo – the Hell’s first circle:

Ineluctable modality of the visible…Limits of the diaphane. But he adds: in bodies. Then he was aware of them bodies before of them coloured…Bald he was and a millionaire, maestro di color che sanno (Joyce 1922: 32).

Neodminna modalnist vydymoho…Mezhi prozorosty. Ale vin dodaie u tilakh. Otozh te, shcho tila, vin zbahnuv ranishe, nizh shcho kolorovi... Lysyi vin buv i milioner, maestro di color che sanno (Джойс 2015: 37).

Therefore, the link is created: the allusion to Aristotle appears due to the quotation from Dante who also implicitly hints to the philosopher. Reasonably, the quoted lines from the novel are difficult to understand for the readers of both source and the target culture. As far as the original Italian quotation was used in the source text, translators did not render it but provided the translation in the footnote. The latest 2013 Ukrainian translation of Inferno by Maksym Strikha was used: “Todi, povivshy vhoru shche ochyma, / uchytelia premudrykh ya pobachyv / pomizh filosofamy vyznachnymy” (Данте 2013: 131). Strikha, in turn, also used a footnote to clarify the figure mentioned by Dante. Thus, the translators not only preserved intertextuality by using the original quotation, i.e. “foreignizing” the text, but also gave the reader a right to choose whether they want to “click on the link” or pass it by.

Ulysses can be read from various perspectives, so that every reader may open new horizons and interpretations unknown before. A thorough look at the passage under analysis reveals a pun created in the flow of Stephen’s reflections. The Italian lexeme color is polysemantic, meaning both them and colour (Gifford 1988). As far as a source – Dante’s text – hardly suggests any wordplay, the latter is created in the context of Stephen’s contemplation about Aristotle’s views of colour. However, the pun is omitted in the Ukrainian translation. Generally, the analyzed passage confirms that the source text itself is a product of the interliterarity process: the canvas of the text is created by allusions to already existing works which acquire a new meaning and form a truly endless hypertextual network. Adopting that, the reader sets off on a literary journey defining its final destination on one’s own.

The overall analysis of 29 allusions to literary classics and the Bible reveals the tendency of translators to stick to the canonic Ukrainian versions of these texts. However, several examples justify the difficulty in recognition of the inverted quotations and internal hypertextuality, which are mainly omitted in the translation. Moreover, the different episodes from a single literary piece (e.g. Dante’s Divine Comedy or Shakespeare’s Hamlet) are interwoven into the structure of the novel more than once. Instead, the Ukrainian translators tend not to follow a single translation as well, but to refer to different versions (for instance, the lines from Dante’s poem are quoted in three different interpretations by M. Strikha, Eu. Drobiazko and P. Karmanskyi). On the one hand, such inconsistency may puzzle the reader and somehow distort the structure of the text. On the other hand, the translators familiarize the reader with multiple translations of a literary work. The latter is especially important within the context of Ukrainian culture development.

Departing from the universal towards the national encyclopedia, Ulysses contains many references to Irish national songs, folklore, and pieces of literature residing in the culture of Joyce. So, the translators are mainly to deal with the so-called “discursive lacuna” existing in the target culture.

In Episode 3 of Ulysses, the main character Stephen Dedalus sees the cocklepickers on the shore of Dublin Bay. This picture reminds him of the gipsies travelling in the 16th and 17th century. The lines represented below comprise the stanza 2 of the canting song The Rogue’s Delight in Praise of his Strolling Mort that appears in Canting Academy by R. Head (Thornton 1973). The song is written in thieves’ cant of the 19th century posing a challenge for both understanding and translating into another language:

White thy fambles, red thy gan / And thy quarrons dainty is. / Couch a hogshead with me then. / In the Darkmans clip and kiss (Joyce 1922: 43)

Ruchky bili, ruzha-pastka, / peliustok smachniucha rich… / Numo sklienchymos, liubasko! / Dai v tvoiu pirnuty nich! (Джойс 2015: 48)

In the Ukrainian Ulysses, the translators used their own interpretation of the song which is not existent in the cultural horizon of the Ukrainian reader. The Ukrainian language does not possess a wide range of lexemes belonging to thieves’ cant, namely one referred to in the 19th century. Hence, Terekh and Mokrovolskyi used the colloquial language units for the sake of compensation. The intended effect is created by introducing the diminutive suffix -chk (the lexeme ruky (hand) – ruchky), the augmentative suffix -iuch (the adjective smachnyi (tasty) – smachniuchyi) and dialectal lexeme liubaska meaning lover. Additionally, the imageries in the Ukrainian folklore songs are often formed through parallels with nature – the literary technique masterly used by Terekh and Mokrovolsyi. The mouth (SL gan and TL pastka – dialectal noun) is compared to the red rose (ruzha – one more dialectal lexeme) forming a simile ruzha-pastka: the lips, in turn, are likened to the rose-leaf.

Thus, the rich English argot was recreated through a variety of Ukrainian dialects. The Ukrainian reader is thereby introduced to the versatility of his/her native tongue arising from similar associations.

The reviewed above samples highlight the translators’ attempts to re-create the pragmatic effect of the ST passages. As far as most allusions belonging to national and individual encyclopedia are not familiar to the TT audience, its perception often needs adaptation or/and additional commentary. The strategy of “moderate” domestication is deemed to be suitable in such cases.

5. Parody vs. pastiche and/in Ulysses: lines of interpretation

As Genette (1997) put it, all hypertexts are created either to say the same things differently, i.e. preserving the plot, but using stylistic means unlike those found in the hypotext, or to say the different things similarly, i.e. applying the same style, but writing another story. Moreover, the literary work of art may be either transformed or imitated with a different intent and applying various registers or modes. Following this, Genette considers parody and pastiche to be the key hypertextual categories.

Pioneering the theory of postmodern parody, Linda Hutcheon (2000) considers the latter as one of the major forms of self-reflexivity – a form of inter-art discourse. In the course of this research, it is important to draw the line between pastiche and parody as two different hypertextual categories related to transformation and imitation. Dwelling upon the notion of pastiche, Genette (1997) noted that it is impossible to imitate the text directly; it can be imitated only indirectly by practising its style into another text. That is why pastiche does not literally imitate the text but follows its style or genre. On the contrary, the text can only be transformed, converted, modified, i. e. parodied. Therefore, the scholar (1997: 84) comes to the point that “one can parody only particular texts; one can imitate only a genre”.

Parody and pastiche activate reader’s textual memory and create a humorous effect introducing an element of surprise. Therefore, a crucial translator’s task is to make the target text both recognizable and off-the-wall. Tackling the issue of rendering parody, André Lefevere (1992: 44) emphasized that “of all works of literature, the one that is written to make fun of another is probably the most difficult for translators because they find themselves translating not just one work but two, the parody and the original”. The translator is ideally to recognize the trace of another genre or text, though this task is extremely difficult. Therefore, the key challenges which one may encounter are either to follow a precedent text (genre) that may be absent from the encyclopedia of the target reader or to reproduce a possible humorous effect. It is suggested that the translator should be keen to achieve a pragmatic equivalence, i. e. the source language and target language words having the same effect on their respective readers (Baker 2001).

The texture of Ulysses represents a medley of various texts and narrative techniques not always directly quoted, but rather purely imitated or playfully transformed. Though being represented in Episodes 12 and 13 of the novel, the pastiche technique is brightly revealed in Episode 14, which is believed to be a climax of this eccentric literary experiment. Interestingly, the Joycean scholar Fritz Senn (1984) describes Joyce’s literary oeuvre on the whole and Episode 14 of Ulysses in particular as writing-as-translation:

The rapid transformations of style that go to make up the Oxen of the Sun chapter could also be taken to be a series of translations, not horizontally from one language into another, but vertically through progressive stages of the literary language, and of reason why translators find this chapter particularly frustrating (Senn 1984: 1).

In Episode 14, the illustration of the evolution of the English language and prose through the metaphor of the fetal development – from the stage of the embryo to the very process of childbirth – takes form by imitating the style of Anglo-Saxon rhythmic alliterative prose:

In ward wary the watcher hearing come that man mildhearted eft rising with swire ywimpled to him her gate wide undid. Lo, levin leaping lightens in eyeblink Ireland’s westward welkin…. Christ’s rood made she on breastbone and him drew that he would rathe infare under her thatch. That man her will wotting worthful went in Horne’s house (Joyce 2022: 705)

A okhoronnytsia pochuvshy shcho tut pryishov cholovik miakoserdyi nakynula na holovu khustku i odchynyla yomu dveri. Chy ba! V siu myt uves neboskhyl na zakhodi Irlandii spalakhnuv osiaiannyi blyskavkamy… Otozh sluzhnytsia osinyvshy persy svoi znamenniam khresnym zaprosyla ioho borzhiy zaity do hospody. I vidavshy muzh sei volia ii dobra yest ustupyv do khoromiv Hornovykh (Джойс 2015: 368).

Dating back to the 10th-11th century, the genre of alliterative prose lies in the repetition of the consonants at the beginning of the words and stressed syllables. However, the notion of alliterative prose is absent in the Ukrainian literary tradition, so that it did not play a constituent role in the text composition.

As it is seen, the alliteration is created by the interchanging repetitions of letters w, l, h. The Ukrainian translation reproduces alliteration, though it is less obvious: the repetition of letters ш, ч, с, х occurs not at the beginnings of the words, and it is less dense and more hissing than in the original. Besides, the original lines sound solemn and elevated as the result of a “sliding” effect created by the w, l, h alliteration, combined with vowels /i:/, /o:/ and diphthong /ai/. This effect is reproduced in the translation due to the length of the chosen words. In addition, special attention should be paid to a sentence structure and specific word choice mostly belonging to archaisms:


Anglo-Saxon: neck (Hall 1960)


ME: covered with a wimple (Gifford 1988)


ME: lightning (Webster)


Archaic: sky (Webster)


Anglo-Saxon: eager and prompt (Webster)


Anglo-Saxon: entrance (Hall 1960: 378)

Remarkably, the Ukrainian translation remains quite comprehensive, though the solemn and archaic colouring is preserved by means of the use of archaic word forms. For instance, the Church Slavonic lexemes sei, siu, iest in the sentence 3 and 5 as well as the long form of the adjective liutii, found in the sentence 4, make the Ukrainian passage sound poetic and elevated. Furthermore, the Ukrainian archaic words khoromy, hospoda, persy are used instead of the conventional English house, metonymic thatch and a medical term breastbone to intensify the stylistic effect.

Interestingly, Terekh and Mokrovolskyi omitted all the punctuation marks in order to puzzle and “slow down” the target reader. It is assumed that the same effect is created by the non-standard word order in the source text.

The Ukrainian translators managed to reproduce stylistics and, consequently, a pragmatic potential of an imitated abstract. Additionally, having rejected the strategy of radical domestication, Terekh and Mokrovoslkyi are supposed to strike the right balance – to make the text both readable and recognizable, but at the same time to reproduce the alliteration typically found in the English rhythmic alliterative prose. Hence, the rich stylistic gradation found in the Joycean text is definitely felt throughout Episode 14 of the Ukrainian Ulysses.

In Episode 7 of Ulysses, where the action is developing in the newspaper offices of Freeman Journal and the Evening Telegraph, the texture of the episode is organized in the form of newspaper articles and headlines peculiar to a journalistic style of different epochs. Among them, the readers come across the following:

Sufficient for the day is the newspaper thereof (Joyce: 124).

I dosyt dnevi hazety svoiei (Джойс 2015: 130).

The lines parody the Sermon of the Mount described in the Gospel of Matthew: “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof” (Matthew 6:34). One should live in present and not think about what will happen tomorrow – this is the essence of Jesus’ message.

Likewise many Biblical quotations, this one has become an aphorism. However, J. J. O’Molloy’s words have an ironic colouring: the heroic feats and professional competence of both journalists and judges of the past are compared to the poor quality of modern newspapers and the court system. Yet, as the character notices, there is no use in such comparison, since every epoch has its own drawbacks. Therefore, the substitution of lexeme evil for newspaper in correlation with a rather elevated style, brought about by the original Biblical quotation, creates an ironic effect.

Terekh and Mokrovoslkyi recognized the inverted quotation (or else parody) and, instead, used a Ukrainian Bible translated by Filaret (2004) as a core (Мф. 6:34). Although the translation of Bible by Filaret is less often quoted in the Ukrainian cultural medium (the one by Ivan Ohienko is widely known as a canonic translation), the elevated style of the Bible, additionally emphasized by the inversion, and ironic effect of the word substitution are retrieved. Therefore, the hypertextual link and the pragmatic effect are successfully reproduced.

The analyses show that the imitation of a certain literary genre or style is mainly recreated by the equivalent writing techniques existing in the target culture. In addition, the Ukrainian translators managed to find the balance between domesticating the foreign elements and keeping the text defamiliarized. The key challenge in rendering parodied text is to make it meaningful for the target reader, for instance, by preserving its allusive nature and expressiveness.

6. Listening to Ulysses: musicalization of fiction in the focus
of intermedia and translation studies

Presumably, the contemporary art goes far beyond a single way of expression: representing a synthesis of various art forms, it becomes a subject of interdisciplinarity and intermediality in particular. The middle of the 20th century witnessed a so-called “intermedial” turn: having risen from the concept of intertextuality, the theory of intermediality covers interweaving and co-existence of different semiotic systems within a single work of art which forms a basis for the intermedia, or “interart” studies.

Werner Wolf defines intermediality as “any transgression of boundaries between media and thus is concerned with heteromedial relations between different parts of semiotic complex” (Wolf 2010: 252). The scholar argues that verbal media are open, flexible and delicately combined with non-verbal ones. Hence, the issue of musical-literary intermediality, namely musicalization of narrative fiction – music translated into literature (Wolf 1999) – is of particular attention within the scope of this research.

Wolf (1999) suggested defining the phenomenon of musicalization of fiction as a special case of covert musico-literary intermediality to be found in (parts of) novels or short stories. The scholar states that it is created both through stylistics and content of the literary text. In fact, the categories of music and literary text involve a range of similar features (e. g. application of sign system, communicativeness, acoustic nature, segmentation), as well as different ones (e. g. repetitive structure of a musical work, level of perception – audible vs. conceptual etc.) (Wolf 1999).

Aleksandr Makhov (Махов 2005) claims that the verbal music manifests itself in the elements forming the so-called melodic-syntactic frame of the literary text: recurrence, contrast, crescendo and diminuendo, i. e. culmination and fade-out. Thus, numerous phonemic, morphological and lexical repetitions are deemed to create a certain tempo, rhythm, and pitch of the narrative.

Indeed, the creation of verbal music always involves a daring experiment. Along these lines, such a practice itself represents an intersemiotic translation, i. e. transposition of one system of signs into another. From the cognitive perspective, “music acts as a metaphor for mind…the most significant attempts to “musicalize” the novel have been coupled with strategies designed to show the mind in action rather than simply telling us about the result of the action” (Prieto 2002). In many cases, the modernist novelists hence successfully recreate the dynamics of thought by means of textual musicality and the stream-of-consciousness technique.

One may suggest that the translation of musicalized literature somewhat equates the translator with the author implying a great deal of co-creation. Consequently, Venuti’s concept of translator’s visibility should be mentioned in the context of the interpretation of verbal music. The nature of hypertext removes the translator from the necessity to carefully follow the source text form. In this vein, translation stands as an experiment, so that there are no definite strategies for a translator to follow. However, referring to the principles of drama translation (though not equating music in drama with one in fiction), the target text is suggested to be as “speakable” as the source one. The reproduction of musical and poetic canvas of the text, i. e. its sounding, is viewed as a key task for the translator. Thus, the latter can be treated as a “professional listener” having an ear for music, a sense of rhythm and an appropriate musical background.

The Polish scholar Jolanta Wawrzycka treats the notion of translation as an obsolete one offering instead the term “trans-semantification”. Wawrzycka (2007) defines trans-semantification as literary re-languaging, which not only reproduces the lexical surface of a literary work but also manages to attend to sound, rhythm and semantic colouration of words, phrases and syntactical units of the original even at the risk of busting the normative boundaries of language. Thus, under the term trans-semantification, the scholar means the literariness of the work of art, which is to be reproduced in the target culture.

Ulysses can be truly considered a text without borders. Music is “heard” throughout the whole novel being most brightly represented in Episodes 3 and 11. The musicality of the latter is still the point of particular interest, causing debates among Joyce scholars.

Joyce himself claimed his attempt to recreate the form of a fugue per canonem, i. e. “a polyphonic composition constructed on one or more short subjects or themes, which are harmonized according to the laws of counterpoint, and introduced from time to time with various contrapuntal devices” (Stainer 2009:179). Given this, in order to direct the theoretical discussion toward the practical perspective, the examples of the verbal music recreated in the Ukrainian Ulysses are analyzed.

In Episode 11, it is notable that all the characters have their own sounding, i. e. their portraits, speech, and behaviour correspond to a certain rhythm, pitch and tempo created by a word choice. Thus, the part of the character is occasionally “heard” throughout the chapter just like a part of a musical instrument runs through the composition. In fact, the beginning of the chapter reproduces the polyphonic effect: all the voices are introduced at once to unfold later. The below passages represent the voice of the waiter Pat who trans-semantification gets on the stage:

Deaf bald Pat brought pad knife took up (Joyce: 462).

Pet lysyi hlyshman prynis pres papie a nizh zabrav (Joyce 2015: 247).

Bald Pat at a sign drew nigh. A pen and ink. He went. A pad. He went. A pad to blot. He heard, deaf Pat (Joyce: 503).

Lysyi Pet nablyzyvsa, pobachyvshy, shcho ioho klychut. Pero i chornylo. Rushyv, Biuvar. Rushyv. Prespapie, shchob promoknuty. Taky pochyv, hlushman Pet (Джойс 2015: 268).

It could be suggested that Pat’s part can correspond to the rhythm of percussion. Short vowel sounds are combined with alliteration of voiced plosives /b/, /d/ and voiceless plosives /p/, /t/, /k/ forming mostly monosyllabic words. The character’s part is dynamic: occasionally slowing down and speeding up – Pat doesn’t stop pattering and fussing. Moreover, aspirated /h/ and voiceless fricative /f/ are supposed to create the effect of clogged ears as far as the hero is hard of hearing.

Terekh and Mokrovoslkyi followed the character’s voice reverberating through the text. It is worth noticing that unlike English, Ukrainian has far less monosyllabic words. Therefore, the tempo is recreated mostly by alliteration. The Ukrainian translators preserve the interchangeable /p/ and add the dental trill /r/. The latter is absent in the English phonetic system. The Ukrainian consonant is similar to Polish /krok/. Besides, it is often used as means of alliteration in the Ukrainian poetry symbolizing sharpness, fastness and, roughness. Thus, the combination of /r/ and /p/ makes the character sound jerky, emphasizing his brisk movements. In addition, the translators reproduce the “clogged ears” effect by means of hissing sound created by fricatives /ʃ/, /s/ and /tʃ/.

In conclusion, while the English text is regarded as poetic prose, the Ukrainian one, in turn, is re-created according to the same principle. Both verbal language and music are highly onomatopoeic by their nature: almost every sound can be artistically expressed and rethought. The verbal means for turning music into the literary text – the plethora of phonemic repetitions – are naturally interwoven into the Ukrainian texture without any violation of the plot. Additionally, quite a rich Ukrainian poetic tradition is reflected in the text by the translators’ referring to rhythmic and rhyming schemes familiar to the Ukrainian auditory.

Concluding remarks

Non-linearity in Ulysses is hence viewed as a complex multifaceted phenomenon based on interliterarity and intermediality. While the former is revealed through intertextuality (including allusions and reminiscences), parody and pastiche, embodying the movement between and/or inside literatures, the latter foregrounds, in our case, the notion of musicalization of fiction.

In such a vein, recreating hypertext by means of another (verbal) language is proposed to actively involve the translator’s co-creativity and stand as an effective tool for developing the language and enhancing inter-literary connections. The translator virtually re-creates such a complex text by replanting it to the new target medium. Therefore, the self and other are clashed, new intertextual links are created, and the verbal music changes its tune.

Centering on the first full Ukrainian translation of Joyce’s novel Ulysses (2015), the paper claims that numerous elements of different genres, texts and narratives, incorporated either in the direct form or hidden and inverted, as well as the dynamics of a verbal music in the spectrum of Ulysses, summon the agency of Joycean text in the world literature, posing versatile challenges for the translators in both recognition and subsequent “replanting” of the text into another culture. Due to the asymmetries in the cultural horizons of Irish and Ukrainian readers, the translators of Ulysses applied multidimensional approaches in recognizing the intertextual elements and following the traces they leave throughout the textual canvas. No single strategy was chosen for the re-creation of intertexts, parodied elements or imitated genres. Non-linearity of the source text led to the non-linearity in choosing the translation method. The added value of such an approach lies in the move from the static vision of the text, i.e. text as textuality, towards its dynamic envisioning, i.e. text as processuality and as a complex adaptive system.

In the case of texts which belong to common intertextual space of both source and target readers, the translators did tend to use the canonical translation circulating in the Ukrainian culture. However, multiple references to one and the same source (internal hypertextuality) and twisted quotations were mainly omitted, so the intended echo-effect was not retrieved. Allusions and quotations belonging to national and individual encyclopedia were chiefly explicated with the footnote or commentary, giving the target reader a choice – whether to recognize a reference or to continue reading without entering new text. In turn, Terekh and Mokrovolskyi managed to reproduce the original stylistic medley attending also to the complexity of this text within the target literary field.

Ulysses as hypertext allows numerous ways of reading and, thus, the idea of the multiplicity of translations can be suggested. As any translator acts as a reader, his/her cultural horizon, expectation from the texts and the strategy of reading defines the manner of interpretation. Translating any hypertextual novel is an experiment that may produce an unexpected result. The complexity of such translation projects increases the receptivity and dialogic capability of the target culture, and – what is more – through these also the internal variety of that culture, presenting an impetus for new genre, thematic and stylistic creations.


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