Fictie en vertaling door fans op het internet: een studie over herschrijven, samenwerken en delen van fanfictie

Date: 23 February 2017

Venue: Universidade Federal do Pará - Rua Augusto Corrêa, 01 Belém (Brasil)

PhD candidate: Fabíola do Socorro Figueiredo dos Reis

Principal investigator: Prof. Christiane Stallaert, prof. Izabela Guimarães Guerra Leal

Short description: Doctoraatsverdediging Fabíola do Socorro Figueiredo dos Reis - Faculteit Letteren en Wijsbegeerte & Universidade Federal do Pará, Belém, Brazil


Ficções e Traduções de Fãs na Internet: Um estudo sobre reescrita, colaboração e compartilhamento de fanfictions

This dissertation studies the translation process of fanfiction (fiction written by fans), one of the many activities practiced by fans in virtual communities. The study is based on a corpus of English texts that have been translated online into Portuguese. The study shows that, on the one hand, the translation process bears similarities to traditional translation practices and strategies while, on the other hand, the actors move flexibly between the different roles, adapting themselves easily to the various possibilities that a virtual environment offers. Characteristic of fanfiction in translation is that it is a dual process of 'rewriting': on the one hand, the creation by fans (readers / writers) of new stories based on existing characters and plots, and on the other hand, the translation itself, which can be described as a process of "rewriting". According to the definition of Lefevere (1995), all translation is a form of rewriting of an 'original', a process related to power relations embedded in a particular social context.

After introducing the concept of translation as ‘rewriting’,  the specific aspects of the translation of fanfiction as a process of 'rewriting' are analyzed, such as the temporal aspect (the ‘pace’ of translation) and the relationship between author / reader of fanfiction and his / her translator(s). The analysis makes clear that in the digital age, the relationship between entities such as author, reader and translator has become extremely complex and that these entities can no longer be considered or observed as fixed and distinct realities. The roles and functions that are observed are interchangeable and this plasticity is accentuated by the use of technology (machines), which transforms the actors into 'cyborgs', able to simultaneously assume the role of author, reader and translator. Traditional dichotomies such as ‘writer’ versus ‘reader’, ‘reader’ versus ‘translator’, or ‘translator’ versus ‘reviewer’ have changed substantially in cyberspace. The cyborg-translator is both part of the real world and the parallel world of the Internet; from behind of his / her machine he/she participates in various fields, assumes distinct roles and interacts with readers and writers.

The generalized access to the Internet raises questions regarding the future of the practice of writing, reading and translating. Is it possible that the boundaries between writer, reader and translator will be erased in the digital age and that the different roles can be adopted simultaneously by the different actors? From the perspective of the humanities, the digital era requires us to reconsider traditional categories of division of labor separated from each other by sharp boundaries. The rise of the internet has created new genres and makes participation in the cyberspace possible to what was once limited to only part of the population.

In Liquid Modernity (2001), Bauman states that patterns of human interaction and dependency, as compared to previous generations, have become malleable in an unimaginable way, but also that their shape - just like all liquids - does not remain stable. By analogy with this observation, we can say that some traditional dichotomies that once helped us to understand and analyze our society, are evaporating or beginning to merge one into another. Bauman’s metaphor can be applied to the study of literature and translation in the digital age, characterized by actors moving in different directions. By analogy with the notion of fluidity, this thesis based on a corpus of translations of fanfiction studies the changed roles of reader, author, and translator in the digital age and its significance for the traditional dichotomies of literature and translation studies.

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