Literary Translation and the Idea of a Minor Romania
Studies of Romanian national imagination have historically focused on the formation of modern Romania after World War I, Romania's fascist movement and alliance with Germany during World War II, or the remobilization of nationalist discourse in the 1970s and 1980s -- moments in which Romanian intellectuals imagine their nation assuming or working toward major cultural status. Literary Translation and the Idea of a Minor Romania examines translations by canonical Romanian writers Lucian Blaga, Constantin Noica, and Emil Cioran following the imposition of Communist rule, arguing that their works reveal a new, "minor" mode of national identity based on the model of the translator. The "minor," a term taken from critical theory, centers on tropes of interaction with other cultures, recreation through adaptation, and ironic distance. Drawing on theorists as diverse as Benedict Anderson, Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari, and Françoise Lionnet, Sean Cotter proposes that this decentered, multilingual, and multiply oriented imagination of the nation is better suited than older models to understanding a globalized cultural field, one in which translation plays an indispensable role. Sean Cotter is associate professor of literature and literary translation at the University of Texas at Dallas.
Subjects: Language & Literature, History
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