Javier Mariass Debt to Translation: Sterne, Browne, Nabokov

Hardcover | June 24, 2012

byGareth J. Wood

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This is a book about translation and literary influence. It takes as its subject Spain's most important contemporary novelist, Javier Marias (1951-), who worked as a literary translator for a significant portion of his early career. Since then, he has maintained that translation had a crucialimpact on the development of his writing style and his literary frame of reference. It examines his claims to the influence of three writers whose works he translated, Laurence Sterne, Sir Thomas Browne, and Vladimir Nabokov. It does so by engaging in close reading of his translations, examining howhe meets the linguistic, syntactic, and cultural challenges they present. His prolonged engagement with their prose is then set alongside his own novels and short stories, the better to discern precisely how and in what ways his works have been shaped by their influence and through translation. Hence this study begins by asking why Marias should have turned to translation in the cultural landscape of Spain in the 1970s and how the ideological standpoints that animated his decision affect the way he translates. His translation of Sterne's Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman isset alongside his pseudo-autobiographical novel Negra espalda del tiempo (Dark Back of Time), while his translation of Sir Thomas Browne's Urn Burial is then analysed in tandem with that produced by Jorge Luis Borges and Adolfo Bioy Casares. Subsequent chapters examine how Browne's prose has shapedMarias's thinking on oblivion, posterity, and time. The final chapters offer an analysis of the partial translation and palimpsest of Lolita he undertook in the early 1990s and of his most ambitious novel to date, Tu rostro manana (Your Face Tomorrow), as a work in which characterization isunderpinned by both literary allusion and the hydridization of works Marias has translated.

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This is a book about translation and literary influence. It takes as its subject Spain's most important contemporary novelist, Javier Marias (1951-), who worked as a literary translator for a significant portion of his early career. Since then, he has maintained that translation had a crucialimpact on the development of his writing sty...

Gareth J. Wood studied Spanish and Portuguese at St Peter's College, Oxford, where he also completed a Master of Studies in European Languages and a doctorate in Spanish Literature. He is a lecturer in Post-1800 Spanish Literature at University College London. He lives with his partner and two children in Leicestershire.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:360 pagesPublished:June 24, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199651337

ISBN - 13:9780199651337

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgementsList of abbreviated titles of Marias's worksIntroduction1. An overview of a career in translation2. The Why? and the How?3. Sterne challenges4. Following the precedent: Marias's Shandean novel5. Competing with illustrious forerunners: Browne, Borges, and 158 Bioy Casares6. Browne, El siglo, and the depiction of tyranny7. The continuing presence of Browne8. i.Tu rostro manana: a novel of our timesii. Translation and palimpsest in Tu rostro manana9. NabokovBibliographyConclusion