Lost or found in translation? La traduzione come atto sovversivo nel romanzo al-Mutarǧim al-ḫā’in di Fawwāz Ḥaddād

(Lost or found in translation? Translation as a subversive act in the novel al-Mutarǧim al-ḫā’in by Fawwāz Ḥaddād)

in La rivista di Arablit, a. IV, n. 7-8, dicembre 2014, pp. 68-82.

Whether consciously or not, every translator is an “unfaithful” missionary between two cultures. For both Arab scholars and Western academics, translation has always had an important role: the literary world has produced numerous theories on techniques and tasks concerning the translator’s work. What happens if an unfaithful translation becomes a metaphor to express the writer’s will to criticize the society where he lives? In al-Mutarǧim al-ḫā’in (The Unfaithful Translator, 2009) by the Syrian writer Fawwāz Ḥaddād, the protagonist, Ḥāmid Salīm, voluntarily alters the ending of the book he is translating. From then on, he becomes the victim of persecution by an Organization that deals with literature just in appearance. In this way Fawwāz Ḥaddād offers a view on contemporary Syria’s political and literary scene. The act of betrayal of Ḥāmid Salīm becomes an unusual act of subversion towards the autocratic political system of his country.

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This is an Article from La Rivista di Arablit - Anno IV, Numeri 7-8, dicembre 2014

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Ada Barbaro |