Translating Beyond English and Czech : W. Golding's The Inheritors in a Czech Translation

Authors

KAMENICKÁ Renata

Year of publication 2012
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Acta Universitatis Carolinae - Philologica 2
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Citation
Field Linguistics
Keywords translation; style; fiction; normalization; mind style; focalizer; Golding; English; Czech
Description The paper discusses mind-style in the novel The Inheritors (1955) by W. Golding and its Czech translation Dědicové (1996, Šimon Pellar). The source text, which has itself triggered a number of treatises focusing on its style (e.g. Halliday 1971, and many others after him), is a bold stylistic experiment: most of the novel is focalized through the mind of a young Neanderthal man, who watches himself and "his people" coming to an end in a prolonged encounter with a new tribe whose difference from themselves they are able to recognize but not fully understand due to their cognitive limitation. Golding offers a narrative told in language characterized by a peculiar distribution of syntactic and lexical choices, through which the underlying theme of the novel, which has a prehistoric setting, is communicated. The translator was thus faced with a very specific translation task: translating from English which is not quite English into Czech which is not quite Czech. The paper discusses where the translation succeeds and where it fails, drawing, among other things, on a contrastive analysis of English and Czech on the background of the mind-language of the Neanderthal men as constructed by Golding. The rather unique literary source-target pair is also found to provide some non-trivial insights into more general problems of re-creating the style of the source text in translation.