Dominika Lewandowska-Rodak

Contemporary Scottish Fiction in Translation: a Case for Translator’s Commentary

This paper seeks to explore the significance of the peritext in the form of translator’s preface/afterword for the rendition and reception of contemporary Scottish fiction in Poland. One of the most important aspects of Scottish novels of the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries is their unique cultural and linguistic identity, largely shaped and framed in opposition to the primacy of the English language and literature. This essential issue, while extremely complex in itself, seems to prove almost impossible to preserve and convey in translation into Polish, resulting in the Scottishness being obscured at best and completely erased at worst. One way to effectively address and perhaps partially solve this problem could be to make it a standard practice for translators to comment on – and thus contextualise – cultural and linguistic aspects of the source text and their own work thereon. Considering existing Polish renditions of several seminal Scottish novels and drawing on the writings of such theorists as Lawrence Venuti, Maria Tymoczko and Gérard Genette, this paper attempts to examine the potential as well as implications of such a praxis and make a case for its crucial value for translating the Scottish voice(s).

Dominika Lewandowska-Rodak, University of Warsaw, Poland