Respectus Philologicus
Respectus Philologicus

Respectus philologicus eISSN 2335-2388

2019, vol. 36(41), pp.158–170 DOI:

The Diversity of Body and Translation: Just a Matter of Perspective

Hans-Harry Drößiger
Vilnius University Kaunas Faculty
Institute of Languages, Literature and Translation Studies
Research interests: translation studies, audiovisual translation studies, linguistics, cognitive linguistics, language philosophy

The following review concerns the volume Corps et traduction, corps en traduction [Body and Translation, Body in Translation] edited by Solange Hibbs, Adriana Şerban and Nathalie Vincent-Arnaud, published in 2018 by Lambert-Lucas Publishing House in Limoges, France.

Įteikta 2018 11 28 / Priimta 2019 02 19
Submitted 28/11/2018/ Accepted 19/02/2019
Copyright © 2019 Hans-Harry Drößiger. 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.


The entire volume consists of five parts, which are entitled “I. Traduction et (dés)incarnations” [Translation and (dis)incarnation], “II. Corps en scène” [Body on stage], “III. Corps, pouvoir et violence” [Body, power and violence], “IV. Corps, sens, censure” [Body, meaning, censorship], and “V. Corps en translation” [Body in translation]. These five parts contain all in all 17 articles, ten written in English and seven in French.

In the “Introduction” of this volume, the reader is told an overview to some facets how to approach the topics “body” and “translation” that makes this edition an interesting and fascinating one due to some perspectives one would not have been expected. Therefore, this review will not only briefly introduce each article, including the “Introduction”. Problems and suggestions for further research grounding on the reviewer’s comprehension and interpretation of given standpoints, theoretical frameworks, research methodologies and each author’s insights shall also be subject to this review. In doing so, the reviewer will follow the order of the volume’s articles.

The “Introduction” written by all the three editors of the volume is entitled “Retrouver le corps” [Body recognition] (Corps 2018: 11–15). It starts with a question “La traduction, une histoire de corps?” (Corps 2018: 11) [Is translation a history of the body?]. This encompassing statement opens a diversity of approaches to both the body and the translation as subject matters that always come again in their mutual relationships. In addition to that, some sort of a subsequent theoretical as well as methodological outline appears in the “Introduction”, “La métaphore du corps du texte …” (Corps 2018: 11) [The metaphor of the body of the text…], which suggests taking body either literally or figuratively, as a “metaphor of the body” and/or as the “body of the text”. These two and some more kinds how to comprehend “body” we will encounter in this volume. What always comes again in almost all the contributions of this volume is, like the “Introduction” highlights it, a kind of definition or description of the term “translation” in its relation to “body”:

La traduction n’est pas affaire de simple transfert entre les langues; elle transite par plusieurs états et commence dans un état en deçà ou en amont du langage, que l’on nomme corps. (Corps 2018: 13).

[Translation is not about simple transference between languages; it passes through several states and begins in a state below or above the language that is called body.]

The richness of the volume lies in the manifoldness of approaches to the body-translation relations in terms of metaphoricalness that was once described by Paul Ricœur as he was quoted in the “Introduction”:

La métaphorique de la traduction produit un imaginaire qui présuppose l’existence d’un corps: angle de vue, perspective, positionnement, rapprochement, proximité, éloignement, distance, souffrance, «deuil» … (Corps 2018: 14).

[The metaphoricalness of translation produces an imaginary that presupposes the existence of a body: angle of view, perspective, positioning, closeness, proximity, remoteness, distance, suffering, ‘mourning’ …]

Part I of the volume has the title “Traduction et (dés)incarnations” [Translation and (dis)embodiment] and it contains three articles. The first one, written by Nicole Côté (University of Sherbrooke), is named “Translating Bodies in Motion: Which Bodies, from Where?” (Corps 2018: 19–30) and thematizes the relations between body and translation related to the concept of change: “What I propose here is to look at new perspectives brought to translation through the lense of human bodies until now rarely considered in translation …” (Corps 2018: 20). This is insofar a very useful approach since the author especially emphasizes the female human body, which in terms of culture and community for centuries has not been achieved that attention it deserves, by comparing it with the concept of translation by stating that “both women and translations are cultural bodies not granted full recognition, the recognition, for instance, that they change the face of culture, of communities – in the case of translation, the face of imagined communities, as the history of translation shows” (Corps 2018: 20, italics in original). Translation as the key concept of the entire volume itself is described as migration from one language-culture to another (Corps 2018: 25).

The second article of Part I, written by Daisy Connon (Independent scholar), has the title “Disembodied Voices: Translation as an Uncanny Act” (Corps 2018: 31–45). In her paper, the author sets approaches of literary translation as her theoretical background. Thus, the paper can be taken as a kind of philosophical discussion on the idea of disembodiment in the case of translation. According to the key concept of the volume, D. Connon describes the act of translation as “elevating our view…from a purely lexical or linguistic transposition to a fully engaged interpretive process” (Corps 2018: 32). Following this idea, it becomes clear that a translator, using outlines from Venuti, has to make a strategic decision to choose between an “ethnocentric reduction” and an “ethnodeviant pressure” while translating. At last, the author pinpoints at translation being “not an activity which reinforces reassuring feelings of self-certainty, but rather one which brings one into dialogue with one’s own vulnerability, with the shadowy corners of the self and with the uncanny” (Corps 2018: 36). Another aspect plays a crucial role in this contribution. From the point of view of the translation industries, a disembodiment in the form of “attenuation of the translator’s physical existence” (Corps 2018: 41) seems to appear because machine translation and translation software might drive out the human activity in translation. To the author the consequences are quite clear:

The industry’s involuntary depiction of the translator as a disembodied voice reflects the fact that the majority of translated texts are no longer the product of a partnership between two individuals leading to a mutually enriching experience of melding cultures and subjectivities, but are the product of various forms of alienation (Corps 2018: 41).

The third article of Part I, written by Nayrouz Chapin (University of Toulouse, University of Bordeaux), named “Corps et autotraduction: le cas des interférences chez l’autotraducteur franco-espangnol Agustín Gómez-Arcos” [Body and self-translation: The case of interferences with the French-Spanish self-translator Agustín Gómez-Arcos] (Corps 2018: 47–61). In the focus of this article, term and comprehension of self-translation and self-translator are discussed, mainly exemplified on the work of the French-Spanish writer A. Gómez-Arcos. In general, the question for the author is, what is a self-translator, what are the traits of self-translation, and what kind of value self-translation might have. The article very convincingly points out that sometimes a self-translation is not avoidable if dramatic circumstances influence the life of an author, e.g. political, religious or other forms of repression against a writer including censorship and exile. The only critical remark with respect to the paper is the theoretical foundation the author took by using the works and ideas of E. Nida (no specified source mentioned in the reference list of this article). This is – from the point of view of the reviewer – an approach, especially the concept of “equivalence”, which recently is not up-to-date within the frameworks of translation studies. Yet, the aforementioned aspects related to self-translation deserve high attention, these are (1) self-translation and its position within translation studies. N. Chapin claims that “[l’]autotraduction en tant que cas particulier de la traduction littéraire semble pourtant mettre d’accord un certain nombre de théoriciens” (Corps 2018: 48) [self-translation as a special case of literary translation seems to agree with a certain number of theoreticians]. This corresponds to the description of self-translators as presented by the author:

En mettant en œuvre une hybridation sous forme d’interférence entre leurs deux langues d’écriture, ces autotraducteurs transmettent une double identité qui, loin de refouler l’une des deux langues, lui permet au contraire de s’exprimer et de s’épanouir (Corps 2018: 49).

[By implementing hybridization in the form of interference between their two writing languages, the self-translators transmit a double identity which, far from repressing one of the two languages, allows it on the contrary to express themselves and to flourish.]

All in all, the problematic aspects of self-translation dominate in this article since sometimes it seems not so clear what an author being able to write in two different languages really does. Is he/she translating him/herself, or is the author re-writing his/her work in another language, or shall the work presented in a second language really be taken as a complete different work? (Corps 2018: 53–54).

The Part II of this volume, “Corps en scène” [Body on stage], contains five articles. The first one, written by Solange Hibbs (University of Toulouse), has the title “L’interprète de conférence ou le corps traduisant” [The conference interpreter or the translating body] (Corps 2018: 65–77). The article focuses on interpreting with a special question whether the interpreter is (or should be) invisible or visible to the audience (Corps 2018: 65–67). For this reason, more theoretical questions come to the fore, that is on the one hand the relation between interpreting and voice-over and on the other hand the relation between translation and cognition (Corps 2018: 66–68). This interdisciplinary approach is completed by involving matters of emotions during the process of interpretation (Corps 2018: 73). However, serving the central theme of the entire volume, S. Hibbs gives her statement to translation by grounding on Durieux:

L’acte de traduction, envisagé comme un processus de prise de décision fondé sur le raisonnement logique ou principe inférentiel «qui exploite à la fois les informations linguistiques et les informations non linguistiques» (Durieux 2007: 50) (Corps 2018: 70).

[The act of translation can be considered as a decision-making process based on logical reasoning or on an inferential principle which exploits both linguistic and non-linguistic information…]

Further on, S. Hibbs takes the voice of an interpreter in its relation and dependence to his/her body while performing the translation. Thus, “[l]oin d’être un simple outil technique, la voix est une partie de notre être, elle résonne en lien avec notre corps, vibrant dans l’instant” (Corps 2018: 75) [far from being a simple technical tool, the voice is a part of our being, it resonates in connection with our body, vibrating in any moment]. This concluding remark in the author’s article leads us to the insight that translation and its performance, in whatever form it may be presented, e.g. live interpreting, voice-over, dubbing or in any form where the voice is that essentially acting part, can only be fully understood by taking the performer’s voice into account.

The second article in Part II of the volume written by Florence Encrevé (University of Paris 8) is entitled “L’incarnation des interprètes et des traducteurs LSF / français lorsqu’ils œuvrent vers la langue des signes” (Corps 2018: 79–92) [The embodiment of interpreters and translators of LSF (langue des signes française) / French as they work towards sign language]. In this article, the reader gets a highly instructive insight not only into the French sign language but also into a methodological way how to describe and to designate processes of translation and interpretation by introducing terms that lead us closer to a better understanding of the outlined topic. The introducing statement might be taken for granted, nevertheless it must be mentioned since all of our research and occupation in the field of translation is basically characterized by it: “L’incarnation des interprètes et des traducteurs vers la LSF se situe à plusieurs niveaux: traductologique, linguistique et déontologique” (Corps 2018: 79) [The embodiment of interpreters and translators of LSF is at several levels: translatology, linguistics and deontology]. Using the conceptual metaphor of translation is an iceberg the author is allowed to emphasize that always something is left doing a translation (Corps 2018: 82). Later, this metaphor appears as a means explaining a newly introduced term transcodage [transcoding]:

Même si l’on pousse encore un peu plus loin l’image, il est possible aux interprètes de transmettre un message en ayant l’impression de ne pas le comprendre: en réalisant ce qu’ils appellent alors du «transcodage». Le transcodage est possible tant que la partie émergée de l’iceberg-sens n’a pas encore coulé, c’est-à-dire tant que l’interprète comprend encore au moins les liens logiques qui relient les éléments de l’énoncé (Corps 2018: 83).

[Even if you push the image a little further, it is possible for interpreters to convey a message with the impression that they do not understand it: by realizing what they then call “transcoding”. Transcoding is possible as long as the tip of the iceberg-meaning has not yet sunk, that is, as long as the interpreter still understands at least the logical links that connect the elements of the statement.]

As the paper mainly deals with sign language, the author defines “la langue des signes est une langue à modalité visuo-gestuelle” (Corps 2018: 85) [sign language as a language with visual-gestural modality] and “[l]a langue de signes est en elle-même une langue incarnée” (Corps 2018: 85) [the sign language is an incarnated language]. This definition takes sign language closer to the all-covering concept of audiovisual communication, in which any form of human communication can be defined, including all forms of translation and its presentation, by accentuating the dominating and interacting channels of each communicative activity. Moreover, the author clearly distinguishes between “presenting” and “representing” when a translator or interpreter “pour le public il présente et il représente le locuteur originel” (Corps 2018: 85) [presents and represents the original speaker for the public].

The third article of Part II of the volume, written by Marta Każmierczak (University of Warsaw), has the title “Somatic Experiences in Song Translation: Brel’s ‘La chanson des vieux amants’ in Polish” (Corps 2018: 93–118). Due to its practical value for similar or equal investigation, this article can be taken as an excellent blueprint for any topic dealing with the translation of certain sorts of text, like songs, poetry, lyric, and the like. The specialty of this article lies not only in the chosen topic, i.e. a comparison of several translations of the same material into a target language, but also in setting of an appropriate terminology, exemplified on song material as it is categorized as “musical-verbal text” (Corps 2018: 93). Mainly considering the work by Klaus Kaindl, the author highlights that “purely linguistic and poetological investigation of translations of popular song, chanson included, is not enough for an accurate account of what happens in the intercultural mediation” (Corps 2018: 98). Moreover, the author suggests a systemization of songs (Corps 2018: 95) appearing in audiovisual productions by homogeneously applying a “socio-cultural context in the target culture” (Corps 2018: 95) as the basic instance for systemizing songs and similar forms of musical-verbal texts. The requirements of a target culture performance of translated song material is widely outlined in the practical sections of the article. Those requirements are singability (with or without conviction), compensation or enhancement of the dimensions of a song, articulatory quality (structure) of the translation corresponding to the requirements of text lines, to name to most important ones.

Considering the main topic of the entire volume, this article provides another piece of understanding translation since it is described as “linguistic behaviour” (Corps 2018: 94), which might be appear too limited because this designation directly refers to language only, yet behaviour – as we all should know – includes far more aspects of the human nature than solely language use.

The fourth article of Part II of the volume, written by Yoshiko Takebe (Shujitsu University), is entitled “Translating the Physicality of Western Texts into Japanese Theatre” (Corps 2018: 119–129). Although the author takes a widely spread conception to describe translations, the dichotomy of “domestication” and “foreignisation” (Corps 2018: 119), this highly ambiguous idea with its old-fashionedness seems not so up-to-date in the beginning of the 21st century. Nevertheless, the author focuses on “intersemiotic translation” (Corps 2018: 121) with a reference to the works by R. Jakobson which fortunately takes the author away from the above-mentioned dated dichotomy. Generally, the scholar opens a wider scope of translation issues than it could have been expected after her introducing statements by including matters of translation into questions of media change. The author’s outlines on drama translation are exemplified by investigating a translation of S. Beckett’s Waiting for Godot into Japanese. For this reason, she takes the “physicality of Beckett’s drama” (Corps 2018: 127) as a subject to translation. Furthermore, she employs a metaphor of body “as machine, automatism, and repetition” (Corps 2018: 126) in the case of Beckett’s drama to give reason for summing-up that “the blending of the comic and the tragic in Beckett’s plays may similarly be perceived as creating a synthesis of West and East” (Corps 2018: 126).

The fifth article of Part II of the volume, written by Adriana Şerban (University of Montpellier), has the title “Translation and the Body in Peter Greenaway’s The Pillow Book” (Corps 2018: 131–147). After briefly introducing Peter Greenaway and his film The Pillow Book, the author puts one of the most fascinating, yet underrated ideas in translation studies into focus: palimpsest. Thus, section “4. Palimpsest: translation and translators in The Pillow Book” contains the presentation of translation issues regarding the mentioned film, its translation and presentation in subtitling mode. While describing critical instances of this film it becomes clear that “only an in-depth study of the function of language in specific films could validate translation strategies, and prove the necessity of using transgressive ones” (Corps 2018: 142). Therefore, two things deserve highest attention for any other research into audiovisual translation (and probably not only there), the in-depth study (sometimes also called in-depth analysis) and the demand to the translator to chose approriate ways to translate the given material due to the assumption there might be a wide range of techniques for translations, which all have one thing in common, to deliver the best possible translation to an audience. In the article, the concept of body comes into play while describing the essence of subtitles by referring to Díaz Cintas: “One characteristic film subtitles share with bodies is vulnerability” (Corps 2018: 143). This allows the conclusion that not only subtitles seem to be fragile and delicate but also the complete translation and possibly the translator’s work and attitude. And so is the human body, fragile, delicate, sensitive, “a palimpsest” (Corps 2018: 144), not solely in this particular film, since any human body can tell a story. All in all, the idea of palimpsest can get proof on several layers that are – in order of instances presented in this article – the human body, a story about and from a human body, a filmic adaptation of that story of a human body, the translation of the filmic adaptation (as well as the original story told or written) of that story of a human body. And vice versa, any translation, any filmic adaptation, any story told or written, any human body is a palimpsest.

Part III of the volume “Corps, pouvoir et violence” [Body, power and violence] presents three articles. The first one, written by Lily Robert-Foley (University of Montpellier), has the title “The Monstrosity of the Body in Translation” (Corps 2018: 151–172). In this article, the author attempts to adapt terms created by Venuti for describing instances of translation in the special cases of body monstrosity.

In other words, the familiar dichotomy of foreignizing / naturalizing that we find canonically in Venuti, must be tailored to the cultural specificity of the texts at hand and especially, the relationships of asymmetry that ground and surround them (Corps 2018: 152).

It seems that the author intentionally applies the term “naturalizing” instead of “localizing” while the latter is also widely spread among scholars working in the field of translation studies. Another interesting aspect is that L. Robert-Foley constantly uses the continuous form “naturalizing” of the term that designates the process instead of “naturalization” that mainly names the result of the process. The distinction of terms either naming processes or results of processes is worth a discussion in terminology within the framework of translation studies (and perhaps in other areas too). Although the author clearly states her standpoint as a feminist, the question arises why she wants to see “monstrosity read through the lens of a feminist ethics of translation” (Corps 2018: 154) while taking a work by S. Beckett, a male writer? Yet, the major idea in her paper is to make the concept of metonymy applicable to translation studies by referring to M. Tymoczko “who prefers a «metonymical» process of reading in translation, as she feels this makes it possible to read translation in context, both linguistically and culturally” (Corps 2018: 153). In the empirical sections of her paper, the author constantly applies the concept of a “metonymical approach to translation” (Corps 2018: 157), which leads to a unified way of presenting her findings that makes this contribution to the entire volume a highly valuable one.

The second article of Part III of the volume, written by Arurima Dey (University of Salamanca), is entitled “A Site of Trauma and Memory: The Body as Palimpsest in Shauna Singh Baldwin’s What the Body Remembers (1999)” (Corps 2018: 173–187). This article seems to be a more sociological and/or political one than a contribution to humanities. This is because the author attempts to apply the central term and concept of the entire volume, i.e. translation, by grounding on a social, political, and moral framework:

Hence, women must take back the autonomy over their bodies. One of the significant ways of achieving this is by turning the body itself into a translator and interpreter of feminine experience (Corps 2018: 175).

In doing so, the term “translation” is about to become an aspect of the female human body as some sort of immoral or dehumanized object by interpreting the literary subject of her paper saying that “women’s fertile bodies were (mis)translated into objects of warfare during Partition genocide, where wombs became men’s property to either occupy through rape or protect through honour killing” (Corps 2018: 177). Considering the overall title of the volume, it may be logical to include a notion of translation as A. Dey puts it. Yet, some related terms and concepts appear in such a wider scope of notion, e.g., language as “language of the body” (Corps 2018: 176), palimpsest as “the female body operates as a palimpsest that records women’s experience” (Corps 2018: 175). Thus, the question arises how far one may go in using and interpreting terms and concepts that belong – not only by tradition – in a scholarly form to certain areas of research? Isn’t this a dangerous way because humanities have for centuries been struggling for a social and scholarly recognition by the so-called “sciences” in an everlasting endeavour to justify the humanities’ intentions, aims and objectives? The author’s attempt to “re-calibrate” terms and concepts, like “translation” and “language”, will not – by all respect to the topic – strengthen the position of humanities.

The third article of Part III of the volume, written by Irene Rodríguez-Arcos (University of Salamanca), has the title “Women’s Magazines and Symbolic Violence: The Translation of the Body in the Era of Mass Communication” (Corps 2018: 189–204). The article starts with a clear statement on theoretical foundations that centers the term and concept “information”:

In order to circulate, information needs to overcome linguistic and cultural boundaries…; in other words, it needs to be translated (Corps 2018: 189).

The author tells not only her clear positioning by referring to a – in her eyes – well known theoretical foundation that is called “intersemiotic translation”, which has been developed by R. Jakobson and shows a wide acceptance among scholars who are not only strict followers of Jakobson. Investigating several women’s magazines, the author sets another important cornerstone of her work by not only criticizing the term “domestication” as far too harmless and too glossing over since the intention of those women’s magazines is to “translate global discourse into local contexts, and manipulate them in such ways that…it is difficult to compare translated texts with their originals” (Corps 2018: 191), but also by assuming three basic background instances of any translation, the audience, the medium, and the content management (Corps 2018: 191). A very special strength of Rodríguez-Arcos’ contribution to the volume is her well-reasoned methodological approach that is corpus compiling and interdisciplinary scholarly approaches. “Due to the multimodal nature of the corpus, the theoretical framework employed must be an interdisciplinary one” (Corps 2018: 195). The author’s most favoured concept while conducting her investigation is “post-translation”, which she took from Gentzler (2017). Thus, an entire section of her paper is dedicated to functions of post-translation and ways how to apply it (Corps 2018: 200–201). Besides her groundbreaking insights into the mechanisms of women’s magazines by creating myths about the society (Corps 2018: 195) and putting post-translation as a strategy to give a voice to the untold, hidden, or suppressed truth of our society, the author includes some more basic terms and concepts for a reasonable and successful work on translation problems, like, paratext, narrative.

The following Part IV of the volume is labelled as “Corps, sens, censure” [Body, meaning, censorship] and presents four articles. The first one, written by Elisa Hatzidaki (University Montpellier), has the title “La psyché s’auto-traduisant: ses ratures, ses envies, ses empreintes dans l’œuvre de Vassilis Alexakis” [The self-translating psyche: Its erasures, desires, and imprints in the work by Vassilis Alexakis] (Corps 2018: 207–221). The most interesting aspect of this article is the combination of the concept “self-translation” with a concept, which is quite seldom thematized within translation studies, “contiguity”. The author in her “Introduction” outlines this interrelation:

Ainsi, pour l’écrivain bilingue, traduire son propre roman serait, entre autres, une façon de cristalliser ses souvenirs et de mettre en exergue les émotions qui, par le jeu des contiguïtés, préfigurent la traduction et nourrissent l’œuvre dans son ensemble (Corps 2018: 207).

[So, for the bilingual writer, translating his own novel would be, among other things, a way to crystallise his memories and to highlight the emotions that, in a game of contiguities, prefigure the translation and nourish the work as a whole.]

Like in previous papers of this volume, the author emphasizes the need for a methodology in the case of research into translation, which in the case of literary translation (possibly in all cases of translation) consists of “la perspective interdisciplinaire, historico-politique, linguistique et traductologique” (Corps 2018: 210) [an interdisciplinary, historico-political, linguistic and translational perspective], which will lead to best research results by considering them all. This might be realized by executing two stages of research as the author puts it, a quantitative and a qualitative one (Corps 2018: 210). Finally, E. Hatzidaki points out advantages of a self-translation as it

est le prolongement de la pensée de l’auteur qui réécrit son oeuvre sans tenir compte uniquement de la dimension linguistique mais en respectant surtout des éléments socioculturels, et notamment ses idées personnelles et ses émotions (Corps 2018: 219).

[is an extension of the thought of the author who rewrites his work not only considering the linguistic dimension but mainly respecting socio-cultural elements including his personal ideas and emotions.]

The second article of Part IV of this volume, written by Jessica Stephens (University Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3), has the title “Remembering Nature, Translating the Senses Wordsworth, Thomas and Heaney” (Corps 2018: 223–237). Although this article aims at problems of equivalence in literary translation, it can be noticed that there seems to be a disparity between the goal of the article – childhood in poetry (Corps 2018: 223–224) – and the language-focused description of selected categories in translation (Corps 2018: 226–236). The fact that linguistic instances, like metaphors, are the subject of investigation cannot be concealed by the headlines of the descriptive sections. All in all, the examples for these descriptive sections are well selected and illustrate the author’s intentions, however, the question arises why the author did only consider English poetry and its French translation and did not – for a better comparative investigation – take French poetry and its English translation too. The set scope, the “otherness of language” (Corps 2018: 224) would give room enough for a research into a French-into-English poetry translation.

Perhaps the experience of foreignness, of otherness, the sense that there is something irreducible in the English language that cannot be translated into French can be ascribed, not so much to the exact terminology relating to fauna and flora, but to the ramifications of the words used (Corps 2018: 225).

At last another question comes into life that is why to focus only on the lexis as a crucial but not the only linguistic (and poetic) ingredient of poetry?

The next article of Part IV, written by Aïcha Louzir (University Montpellier), is entitled “Interroger le devenir du corps dans les traductions françaises de The Rainbow de D.H. Lawrence” [An investigation of the future of the body in the French translations of The Rainbow by D.H. Lawrence] (Corps 2018: 239–254). Investigating the mentioned work by D. H. Lawrence and two of its translations into French by Loisy and Gouirand, the author uses a conceptual metaphor of body as the headline of section 2 of the paper tells: “The Rainbow: une métaphore corporelle redoutable” (Corps 2018: 242) [The Rainbow: a formidable body metaphor]. Considering two different translations into French allows the author to get a deeper insight into applicable techniques, determining backgrounds and the quality of the translation.

Dresser ces deux profils littéraires nous a permis de mettre en exergue les premières disparités marquantes entre les traductrices de Lawrence. En effet, l’écart entre les contextes de publication et leurs environnements respectifs demeure un élement à prendre en compte lors de notre analyse microtextuelle, car les aspects paratextuels pourraient influencer les choix de Loisy et de Gouirand (Corps 2018: 245).

[Drawing up these two literary profiles allowed us to highlight the most important significant disparities between Lawrence’s translators. Indeed, the disparity between publication contexts and their respective environments remains an element to be considered during our microtexual analysis because the paratextual aspects could have influenced the choices of Loisy and Gouirand.]

For practical purposes, this standpoint deserves attention because it may involve an interdisciplinary approach, apparently. Moreover, a comparison of different translations may open up more to the original work as well as to the kind and ways of its translations.

Les écarts traductifs laissent la porte ouverte à la possibilité de renouveler l’interpretation d’une œuvre, de la dévoiler et de la mettre sur le devant de la scène (Corps 2018: 253).

[The differences between translations leave the door open to the possibility of renewing the interpretation of a work, to disclose it and put it on the front of the scene.]

Finally, it is remarkable that the author mainly uses quotes from the works by D. H. Lawrence to explain matters of writing and translation. Scholarly papers of that field are seldom mentioned or quoted.

The last article of Part IV of the volume, written by Adrienn Gulyás (Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church in Hungary), has the title “Corps de traducteur, corps traduit: censure et autocensure dans les traductions hongroises de Gargantua de François Rabelais” (Corps 2018: 255–270) [The translator’s body, the translated body: censorship and self-censorship in François Rabelais’ Hungarian translations of Gargantua]. Against the political background of the communist regime in Hungary in the 1950s, the author focuses on the difficulties translating works that were taken as dangerous for the regime’s politics and ideology. To avoid becoming banned works, like Gargantua, in those countries, translators often opted for self-censorship prior to censorship by the administration. A. Gulyás describes techniques of self-censorship (and censorship) in the case of Rabelais’ novel translation during the period of communist Hungary. Interestingly, these techniques seem to be applied independent from ideological or political pressures, which makes their observation a subject to translation studies in general. In detail, the author describes the following techniques: (1) “Omission de chapitres” [omission of chapters] (Corps 2018: 259–261), (2) “Coupures et omissions” [clipping and omissions] (Corps 2018: 261–262), (3) “La non-traduction de citations latines” [non-translation of Latin quotations] (Corps 2018: 262–263), (4) “Euphémismes et métaphores” [euphemisms and metaphors] (Corps 2018: 263–265). The article closes-up with a suggestion what nowadays should be done in cases of censorships in the past, that is “[r]estaurer l’intégralité” [restore the entirety] (Corps 2018: 268) of the censored work by a new translation, which can be taken as a demand for many other cultures and nations that have suffered from censorship in any form.

The final Part V of the volume is entitled “Corps en translation” [Body in translation], which evokes a question why the editors of the volume used the term “translation” instead of the more widely used French term “traduction”. The first article of Part V, written by M.a Carmen África Vidal Claramonte (University of Salamanca), has the title “Before, During, After (Translating the Body)” (Corps 2018: 273–287). Mainly written as an essay, this contribution to the volume’s topics starts with a quite strange, seemingly non-translational understanding of the basic term “translation” by referring to Duch and Mèlich by claiming

that translation is the merging of two bodies, sometimes temporary, sometimes repeated on only a few occasions, sometimes forever. Translation is the convergence of two bodies that are not only portions of space but settings for contingency: mobile, plural and unpredictable settings … (Corps 2018: 274).

Further on, the author presents a series of quotes from poets, publishers just strung together. Yet, a discussion of those quotes and references to scholars with a professional provenance a reader might expect are not given. Also, quite too long quotes appear in the paper, partially in a third language without any translation into the volume’s official publishing languages. Incorrect or incomplete bibliographical information accompany the appearance of the entire article.

The Part V of the volume is closed-up by poems and their translations, presented by Nathalie Vincent-Arnaud (University Toulouse) under the headline “Traduction des poèmes «To cross a bridge», «Identity» et «Haiku» de Lotte Kramer” [Translation of the poems “To Cross a Bridge”, “Identity” and “Haiku” by Lotte Kramer] (Corps 2018: 289–295). Without any description or interpretation, these poems and their translations may stand for themselves.

The entire volume is closed-up with brief remarks about “Les auteur-e-s” [The authors] (Corps 2018: 297–301) and an “Index des noms” [Index of names] (Corps 2018: 303–307).

All in all, the entire volume presents manifold approaches to the interplay of the topical keyterms “translation” and “body”, from which one may get inspiration or even influences on his/her own work within that quite large field of translation studies. Putting all the articles together, it can be said that the contributors offer ways to look beyond one’s research interests of preferred literary genres or text sorts. Corps et traduction, corps en traduction [Body and Translation, Body in Translation] allows to benefit from the presented ideas because it opens up new avenues of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary scholarly work.


Corps 2018. – Corps et traduction, corps en traduction [Body and Translation, Body in Translation] 2018. Eds. S. Hibbs, A. Şerban, N. Vincent-Arnaud. Limoges: Lambert-Lucas Publishing House.

References (works mentioned in this review by referring to the authors of this volume)

Díaz Cintas, J., 2003. Teoria y práctica de la subtitulación: Inglés-Español. Barcelona: Ariel Cine.

Duch, L., Mélich, J.-C., 2005. Escenarios de la corporeidad. Madrid: Trotta.

Durieux, Ch., 2007. «L’Operation traduisante entre raison et émotion», dans Michel Politis (dir.), Meta, t. 52, fasc. 1. In: Traductologie: une science cognitive, pp. 48–55.

Gentzler, E., 2017. Translation and Rewriting in the Age of Post-Translation Studies. New York. London: Routledge.

Jakobson, R., 2004. On Linguistic Aspects of Translation. In: The Translation Studies Reader. Ed. L. Venuti. 2nd edition. New York: Routledge, pp. 138–143.

Kaindl, K., 2005. The Plurisemiotics of Pop Song Translation: Words, Music, Voice and Image. In: Song and Significance: Virtues and Vices of Vocal Translation. Ed. Dinda L. Gorlée. Amsterdam: Rodopi, pp. 235–264.

Ricœur, P., 2004. Sur la traduction. Paris: Bayard.

Tymoczko, M., 1999. Translation in a Postcolonial Context. Manchester: St. Jerome Publishing.

Venuti, L., 2008. The Translator’s Invisibility: A History of Translation. London. New York: Routledge.