Sneak Peek 33: Josefina Coisson

Literary Translation and Dominant Discourse: The Case of Woolf, Borges and Ocampo

Josefina Coisson

Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina

Abstract: Born in the realm of a hegemonic discourse of a patriarchal tradition, A Room of One’s Own (1929) can be considered a feminist text that analyzes women’s (literal and figurative) space both as writers and as fictional characters. Published in 1936 as Un cuarto propio, the work was translated by Jorge Luis Borges. Both the English source text and its Argentinean translation were produced from the cultural margins – both in form and content – and operated as forces exerting pressure on the set of norms that established what the acceptable themes were and how they were to be tackled.

This research paper analyzes A Room of One’s Own and Un cuarto propio from the perspective of translation studies and sociosemiotics to discuss how, and to what extent, Borges contributed to the development of a national literature by importing models of English modernism that eventually built the new literary repertoire.

Bio: Josefina Coisson is Professor of Literary Translation and Journalistic Translation at Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina. She co-directs the SECyT-funded research group “Literary Translation Come Political Activism: Intervention Strategies”. She has coedited several books on literary translation. Her translations of books include Voces del Norte (2009) and Qué onda Canadá (2011), 50 Metres Distance or More (2014) and Entanglement (2015), among others. Her academic articles have appeared in Mutatis Mutandis, Eco-crítica, and Lenguas en contexto, and other national and international journals.