Beyond Bilingualism: Marco Micone’s Addolorata in Translation
Anne Sophie Voyer
University of Ottawa
If ‘bilingualism’ is largely understood as the ability to speak or write fluently in two languages, in Canada, the term has become particularly loaded. Formalized in language policy in an attempt by government to respond to difficult social questions pertaining to cultural distinctiveness and identity, the tension has permeated cultural productions for several decades. As Rainier Grutman aptly remarks in “Traduire l’hétérolinguisme: questions conceptuelles et (con)textuelles” (2012), if translation most often occurs between a single pair of languages—a source and a target—the likelihood of that scenario in no way guarantees that the translational process occurs always and everywhere between two languages only (49). The various shifts and changes in the linguistic diversity presented by the different iterations of the play Addolorata by Marco Micone and its various iterations—the English translation Addolorata and the rewritings of the original French Una Donna—give very different portrayals of the socio-cultural situation of immigrants in 1970s and 80s Quebec, influencing the cultural impact of the play. Erin Hurley posits that Micone’s triptych of plays – respectively, Gens du Silence (1982), Addolorata (1983;1996) and Déjà l’agonie (1986) – represent Micone’s attempt at “giv[ing] voice to an incipient neo-Quebecois … and allophone-Quebecois … identity by creating a new, hybrid language” (2). This paper will examine the variations in the linguistic landscape of Micone’s story, and how they affect the way the story deals with questions of ethnic duality and identity, with the function of different languages in nationalistic Quebec, and with the political, social and cultural situations that are involved in Micone’s complicated language system.
Keywords: Translation, Bilingualism, Identity, Culture, Canada
Bio: Anne Sophie Voyer is a PhD candidate in Translation Studies at the University of Ottawa’s School of Translation and Interpretation. She is interested in multilingual literatures and cultural translation, as they pertain to the formation of national identity, and her doctoral dissertation touches on the translation of multilingual literary texts in Canada.