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Visual surrealisation: translation and the ludic

Aru, E.K.F.; (2012) Visual surrealisation: translation and the ludic. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London).

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Surrealism is a major European movement in the 20th century Avant-Garde and is still influencing current practices. The Surrealists explored the senses, in particular the visual, to discover and exploit images created by word associations and by the echoes and interactions between art and poems. This dissertation focuses on the translation of Surrealist texts, from French into English, incorporating Surrealist practices into the translation process. It involves what I call a ‘visual surrealisation’ of Surrealism in translation. ‘Visual surrealisation’ refers to the enhancement of the visual aspect of the Surrealist practice and language, using the Surrealists’ own visual practices in translation. This thesis will experiment specifically with practices derived from automatism, bringing to the fore these word associations: contradictions, collage, cadavre exquis and the representation of the body. Automatism was a driving force in Surrealist practice and encouraged impulsive freedom of association. ‘Visual surrealisation’ has the potential to be extended to the translation of other Avant-Garde texts, which the fifth chapter demonstrates. The creative translation approach developed here involves the question of seeing and reading, the notions of ludicity and constraint in both literature and translation, and lastly translation and the position of the translator. Bassnett, comparing the relationship between author and translator to the relationship between writing and rewriting, criticises the prevailing power of the notion of authorship which restrains the translator’s work and creativity. These are new and current issues in translation studies, moving away from the original debate of ‘free’ versus ‘literal’ translations, and from the idea that translation is derivative. The experiments with visual forms provide the opportunity to consider the appropriate use of the senses in translation, which are yet another emerging area in the field. This project suggests that the translator’s engagement in the process of ‘surrealising’ both Surrealist texts and non Surrealist texts contributes to our understanding of the nature of literary translation and the emerging debates on the subject.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Visual surrealisation: translation and the ludic
Language: English
Additional information: Permission for digitisation not received
UCL classification: ?? AI ??
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1344172
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