Beyond 'the silence that entails' a translation of four short stories by Clarke Blaise
Date de publication2000
This thesis includes the translation into French of four short stories by English-Canadian author Clark Blaise:"Eyes,"Notes Beyond a History,"Meditations on Starch" and"Sitting Shivah with Cousin Benny." These stories span Blaise's career and, because they build on different styles, settings and identities, they offer a particular challenge to the translator. In addition to the translation itself, the thesis reflects upon Blaise's life and work, literary translation in Canada, the translation problems created by the texts, and the fields of comparative literature and translation studies. By looking at Clark Blaise's life and at his writing, this thesis draws a parallel between his work and the process of translation itself. The translation process highlights many of Blaise's key concerns, such as the issues of displacement and comprehension across boundaries. This translation thesis comes to fill a certain void in the tradition of literary translation in Canada: when the author started publishing in the 1960s, few English-Canadian works were being translated into French. The situation has improved, but it is to be expected that some of Blaise's early works will never be known to French-speaking readers because the impetus is to translate current works. Specific translation problems created by Blaise's fiction discussed in this thesis include: reference (allusions and intertexts, foreign words, setting), poetics (metaphors and similes, play on words, accumulation, emphasis), and narration (register and point of view). The fields of comparative literature and translation studies provide a theoretical framework for the practical problems a translator of Blaise into French has to face.