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School of Languages, Linguistics and Film

Translation, Transmission, and Cultural Transfer seminar: ‘Translating into Catalan 19th-Century French Texts in Prose: Charles Baudelaire and Théophile Gautier’ (Dr Marta Marfany)

23 January 2019

Time: 6:00pm
Speaker: Dr Marta Marfany (Pompeu Fabra University Barcelona)
Venue: ArtsOne 1.28


The friendship between the two French writers Théophile Gautier (1811-1872) and Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867) is well known. In 1859 Charles Baudelaire published a biography of his friend and inspiration Théophile Gautier. Years later, on the death of Baudelaire, Théophile Gautier reciprocated by writing a biography to introduce the posthumous edition of Baudelaire’s complete works (1868).

In this seminar I will present both biographies, which I am translating into Catalan, for publication in a volume along with other works by these authors. I will explore the main translation challenges posed by these texts, especially those that arise from the chronological gap between the original texts’ mid-nineteenth- century French writers and the twenty-first-century Catalan readers. This historical and cultural distance has repercussion for the translation process. The translator must reproduce the flavour of the language and reconstruct cultural codes that are practically unknown by today’s readers.

Some of the translation solutions that I suggest are of course not restricted to Catalan but can be applied to translation into other languages.

Full programme here. 

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