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The role of translation in the reception of The Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison: the African-American literature rewritten in Brazil

Grant number: 12/03387-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2012
Effective date (End): May 31, 2013
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Linguistics - Applied Linguistics
Principal Investigator:Lauro Maia Amorim
Grantee:Debora Larissa Rempel
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências, Letras e Ciências Exatas (IBILCE). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de São José do Rio Preto. São José do Rio Preto , SP, Brazil


This project is part of a broader plan of investigating the role of translation in the reception of African-American literature in Brazil, by having in mind the possible influences of the "racial" discursive dimension of the Brazilian cultural context on translation. The corpus of analysis is Marcia Serra's Portuguese translation of The Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison, published by Marco Zero in 1990. By analyzing the above-mentioned translation, the project aims to address: a) to what extent the formation of a political and literary Afro-Brazilian consciousness, most notably in recent decades, could exert an influence on the construction of a translational textuality in line with a reading audience more politically aligned with the causes of people of African descent; and b) how a discourse not committed to "racial" issues, but prone to the aesthetic appreciation of literature, could influence the translational textuality towards a non-necessarily engaged reception of African-American literature in Portuguese. This project intends to analyze the translation by methodologically resorting to its paratextual information along with the observation of other facts about the reception of said work in Brazil, which include articles on Ralph Ellison and his work, originally published by the newspaper Folha de São Paulo and made available on their on-line archive, as well as Portuguese speaking websites drawing on The invisible man. The project is justified in that there are few studies with focus on the translation of literature of African descent in general, or African-American in particular, into Portuguese, or on its various reading audiences. Therefore, this project may contribute to the expansion of relations between Translation Studies and the reflection on the meanings of African diasporic cultural production. (AU)

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