“Discovering non-self-translation via E.M. Cioran” (Alexandra Popescu)

University of ALBERTA. Vol 1, No 2 (2014): Worlds out of Words: Language in History.  ISSN: 1929-1515.

ABSTRACT: “The central object [of translation history] should be the human translator, since only humans have the kind of responsibility appropriate to social causation. […] [T]o understand why translation happened we have to look at the people involved” (Pym ix). However, translation is not the only factor altering translation history, as non-translation can expose elements otherwise overlooked. Translation—reproduction—sometimes takes the form of writing—production—, yet this might not be immediately obvious, or explicitly declared. Such is the case of E.M. Cioran, a Romanian writer who suddenly decided to abandon his past after self-exiling to France in his mid-twenties. Curiously, he abandoned it completely, refusing to ever write or even translate in Romanian. Cioran explained in an interview much later in his life that his Romanian self was no longer useful to him after a certain point because writing in Romanian meant writing for no audience. This study searches to reveal the true nature of this switch as illusionary, since his Romanian identity managed to stay hidden behind the use of French.

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