Open Access Thesis
Master of Arts (M.A.)
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
For English-language audiences, twentieth-century French literature is often identified with a variety of literary movements tied to the political left. In spite of its lesser visibility, the French literary right enjoyed considerable prestige during the first half of the twentieth century. This thesis employs methodologies from translation studies in order to study how the French literary right has been translated, or not translated, into English. Case studies devoted to three seminal writers of the right, including Charles Maurras (1868-1952), Pierre Drieu la Rochelle (1893-1945), and Roger Nimier (1925-62), demonstrate that right-wing committed literature was a central mode of literary production from the 1910s to the 1950s and that this current of writing is underrepresented in English-language translation and scholarship.
A number of literary and cultural asymmetries separating English-language literature from French literature have contributed to this situation, such as the phenomenon of literary engagement in French literature and France’s strong anti-liberal intellectual tradition. Using systems theory this thesis argues that these differences between the French and Anglophone literary systems have contributed to the lack of representation accorded to the French literary right, which is manifested in the selection, presentation, and translation of texts by right-wing authors such as Maurras, Drieu, and Nimier.
When translations of texts by these authors do exist, a number of translation patterns emerge. These patterns and distortions have ramifications for the construction of literary canon and for our understanding of twentieth-century literary history and the role ideology plays in influencing high- and low-level translation decisions.
Khoury, Marcus, "Rewriting the Twentieth-century French Literary Right: Translation, Ideology, and Literary History" (2017). Masters Theses. 469.