TM2: Abderrahman Boukhaffa

Narrative (re)Framing in Translating Modern Orientalism: A Study of the Arabic Translation of Lewis’s “The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror”

Abderrahman Boukhaffa

University of Ottawa

Modern Orientalism is seen with suspicion and mistrust by many critics in the Muslim world. It is widely perceived as a ‘hegemonic discourse with mischievous agendas’. In this regard, Edward Said argues that Orientalism is “a Western style for dominating, restructuring, and having authority over the Orient” ([1978] 2003, 3). Bernard Lewis, being one of the experts in contemporary Islam as well as its history, is one of the most controversial Orientalists nowadays. In 2003, he published a very controversial work entitled “The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror”. This publication is largely contested in the Arab-Muslim World. Hence, its Arabic translation may be subject to narrative (re)framing as it is accused, by many, of being ‘ideologically driven’. In this paper, I will draw on Baker’s (2006a) narrative theory to examine the different ways in which Lewis’s narrative may be (re)framed in its Arabic translation. I will examine the geopolitical and cultural contexts in which the source and the target texts appeared, and how these contexts shaped their production. I will also identify the different narrative (re)framing strategies employed in the translation and the way they relate to the larger meta-narrative in which they are embedded.

Keywords: Islam, Lewis, Muslim world, narrative reframing, Orientalism

Bio: Abderrahman is a second-year PhD student at University of Ottawa’s School of Translation and Interpretation.