Saturday, September 19, 2015

New to the Wiki: Genre Labels Affect Translation; Romance and PTSD

Bianchi, Diana and Adele D'Arcangelo, 2015. 
'Translating History or Romance? Historical Romantic Fiction and Its Translation in a Globalised Market', Linguistics and Literature Studies 3.5: 248-253.
They look in particular at two translations into Italian of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander. The first, "At a paratextual level [...] was clearly interpreted as a romance" while the second seemed to indicate that the novel was historical fiction. The differences were not only external:
In particular, the several cuts, omissions and general manipulation of the first translation indicate that translating a book as a ‘romance’ authorizes radical interventions of a kind that are more typical in the most formulaic type of romantic fiction such as the Harlequin romances [...]. The second translation, on the contrary, does not present substantial cuts and remains, on the whole, fairly close to the source text. (251)
Holden, Stacy E. and Charity Tabol, 2015. 
'In Sickness and In Health: Representations of PTSD in Post-9/11 Romance Novels', albeit 2.1.
The novelists writing these tales do not craft a character with whom a veteran would identify, and this is in part because of what Johnson notes are the “parameters of the genre,” which demand a Happily Ever After. But, as we argue in this article, it is also because the American public is unwilling to accept disabled veterans whose lives—and basic dispositions—have been ineluctably changed by the US decision to go to war. Ultimately, romance novels that focus on disabled veterans who find healing in love reveal a widely held fantasy about PTSD. Although offering a simulacrum of the sequelae of combat trauma, a closer examination of the text reveals some misinformation about combat-related PTSD. And so, contemporary romances expose a general reluctance in the US to accept wounded warriors with chronic difficulties.

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