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The aesthetic impact of deletions from the French translation, L’Harmonium, of Yi Ch’ŏngjun’s novel, Hŭin’ot

  • The Journal of Translation Studies
  • Abbr : JTS
  • 2019, 20(1), pp.77-104
  • DOI : 10.15749/jts.2019.20.1.003
  • Publisher : The Korean Association for Translation Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Interpretation and Translation Studies
  • Received : February 10, 2019
  • Accepted : March 19, 2019
  • Published : March 31, 2019

NAM Yun-Ji 1

1한국외국어대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This article analyzes the aesthetic effect of the deletions from the French translation, L’Harmonium (2001), of Yi Ch’ŏngjun’s novel, Hŭin’ot (1994). When translating, it is often necessary to modify the explicit/implicit ratio which can vary according to the languages involved. In cases of implicitation, some elements disappear but equivalence presents identity of meaning in different forms. Such cases correspond to ellipsis. Other cases are considered as deletion. The translators and editors of L’Harmonium have removed opaque cultural elements, repetitive explanations, descriptions of landscape or secondary characters, etc. for the French readership. While their intervention has the effect of making the reading more fluid, some deletions affect the aesthetic dimension of the work. In chapter 2, the translation omitted the memory of the protagonist and narrator, Chongsŏn, of his father and the story of his own failures. This weakens one of the narrative axes of rewriting history through individual narratives, in this case the generational conflict against the backdrop of ideological confrontation prevailing since the Korean War. In the last chapter, two major parts are removed: the detailed explanation of two opposing music styles, moegunnori and pŏgu nong-ak, respectively symbolizing threatening hostility and peaceful symbiosis, and the detailed movements of the shamanic ceremony ssikkimgut (wiryŏnggut) intended not only to appease the souls of the dead but also to heal the wounds of the survivors to convey the message of peace and reconciliation. For this reason, it is necessary to retranslate the novel.

Citation status

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This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.