Il ne meurt plus! AlbertCamus pic. Site de la Fondation C. Elle va seule, avec son ombre. Je me levai, je longeai le quai. Vent — Direction : Je souhaite dans ma maison une femme ayant la raison un chat passant parmi les livres des amis en toute saison sans lesquels je ne peux pas vivre.
La mort dans la vie de Freud par Max Schur. Les bombes atomiques? La croissance, la croissance…! Sautons tous comme des cabris! Il lit. Il lit avec une attention et une minutie insurpassables. Selon M. Citation de Georges Bernier, dit Professeur Choron. Hans Hartung. Herbert George Wells, plus connu sous la signature H. Nous sommes en retard de cent ans sur nos inventions. Photo Alexandre Tabaste.
Fausse modestie ou non? Tweets de leonemo1. Pour que tout change, il faut que quelque chose change, un peu.. Je me souviens du tabac Caporal. Musique et physique … Le hall sentait le chou cuit et le vieux tapis. Compte twitter depuis juin Autres images. Site officiel. Jean-Claude Gawsewitch. Le site de Palmyre en Syrie, photo prise le 14 mars De Mario Monicelli : Le Pigeon Le site de Bud Powell. Bud Powell sur deezer.
William Woodward est son vrai nom. Duchamp pion? Adelmo Fornaciari, dit Zucchero est un chanteur de rock italien. Octobre : Le Bruit et la Fureur. Il se sentait comme un aigle, dur, suffisant, puissant, sans remords et plein de vigueur. On laisse si peu de trace, voyez-vous. William Faulkner: Nobel Prize Speech. Le sujet sera repris en et en en couleurs. Vyas Abu Hassan , S. Chitra Prod. Bailah, Nambiar, Sandhya. Sarangapani Dowlath , P.
Veerappa Abu Hussein, chef des voleurs , K. Thangavelu Gulam, le savetier , M. Rajam Bulbul , P. Chitra, Daljeet, Hiralal, Mahipal. Remake du film de cf. Ramanna R. Ramachandran, G. Varalakshmi, T. Rajkuman, Thangavelkar. Il comporte trois grands segments de danse pure, en Technicolor, sans dialogues. NBC Tripathi, B. Anand Prod. Hatimtai , , remake des films de et Webber BBC Baliah, Raja Sulochna, Thangavelu, S. Ranga Rao, V. Ramaswamy, Relangi Venkatramaia. Charles H.
« La Guerre et la paix » épisode 1 de Léon Tolstoï
CBS Sabu Ali Baba. Ashokan, A. Pakiyam, K. Angamuthu et les danseuses Padmini, Lalitha et Ragini. Normadiah, K. The Three Princes Kameshwara Rao N. Renaud tue Zaccar. Chitra Banafsha , Azad Nasir , B. Synopsis : Enfants, Amara, la fille du prince Kassim, et Ali, le fils du calife, ont promis de se marier. Une production Technicolor de pure routine. Hatimtai , , remakes des films de , et Hoffmann, Cleo Kretschmer, Lilo Grahn. Akku] Nasimul Saqlain Prod. Synopsis cf. Labakan Demirag Turgut N.
Film Madrid , min. Kailash, B. Il entre au service de Jabbir, que ses pouvoirs magiques rendent immortel et invincible. Chodhary Prod. Editions, 71 min. Sujata, Siraj, Sumita, Asish, Kalapna. Jayalalithaa Jayaram, Ravichandran, Savithri, Nagesh. BBC1 Farias Ltda. Koura soutient le premier, Sinbad assiste victorieusement le second. Ian Triska narration. Episodes : 1. Dipa Jaya Film Jakarta , min.
Hamid Arief. Prem Nazir Ali Baba , K. Dipa Yaya Film Jakarta. Ratmi B, S. Sangeeta, Shahid, Munawar Zarif, Saqi. Adib, Aqil. Edson Rabello Sinbad. Sapru Badshah , Sharat Saxena Aslam. Peter Fricke le tailleur Labakan. Sachin Aladin , Jayshree T. Calderon Quindos, T. Annual Review of Cognitive Linguistics 3 : Fauconnier, G. Espaces mentaux. Aspects de la construction du sens dans les langues naturelles. Cognitive Science 22 : New York: Basic Books, Folkart, Barbara.
Second Finding. A Poetics of Translation. Lakoff, George. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, Meschonnic, H. Verdier: Lagrasse, Fr. Saint-Denys Garneau, Hector de. My observations are based on the analyses of experts in the field — linguists, authors, translators —, on my own experiences as a translator, and on some non-analytic but intuitive insights that I have gained over the course of the past twenty years.
In addition, I hope to show that literature and all cultural and artistic forms of expression are political, each in their own way. Thus, translation is for me also an act of political activism. But so with all, from babes that play At hide-and-seek to God afar, So all who hide too well away Must speak and tell us where they are.
In this essay I discuss three facets of translation and the revelations it aspires to disclose. The first of these, of course, are the familiar linguistic discoveries that we make during the working process. Secondly, there are the cultural differences and similarities revealed by the texts through which, as this translator hopes, we come to know one another better. Finally, there are the revelations that my work has brought me on a personal level. Human language is the one specific characteristic that sets us apart from other living creatures and should thus, logically, offer our species a great chain of solidarity.
Sadly enough, however, the spoken word is all too often perhaps even more often than not? We get in trouble over language and people kill each other over words. These are but a few of the infinite ways that prove we are not communicating well, or at all. How complex, then, is the interchange and subsequent attempt at really grasping what is being said or written in a language that is not our own. Writing is not truly a substitute for thought, it is a substitute for sound.
If this is true, as I believe it is, then translators are listeners first and speakers second.
IX - PROCHE- ET MOYEN-ORIENT MUSULMAN
Human interaction and mutual understanding, the final purposes of translation, after all, are based first on hearing and listening. Only then can I embark on turning my source text into English first, into fine writing second. This is always a balancing act, a balancing act that time and experience never render any easier, as my students used to ask with hope in their voice. Each author in any language has a different voice; each text is a new text that poses different problems, even when a same author has created it.
Every word, then, must be heard, understood, interpreted and, finally, rewritten. Contrary to the perception of too many readers, translators are writers, not verbally clever secretaries. The obvious imperatives are first the purely technical aspects, that is to say a thorough knowledge of source language and target language. Included but more playful and more difficult, too, is working with idioms, word play, double entendres, and proverbs, the latter being a particularly common facet of African literature, which forms much of the body of my translation work, where the literal almost never works and the search for an appropriate equivalent becomes one of the many great challenges.
Ideally, the translator should translate into his or her mother tongue, as I always stressed to my students at NYU. Since of these two source languages one is Romance and the other Germanic, I discover time and again how different are the difficulties that arise when dealing with either one or the other. There are two problems here: too often the choice of English synonyms for a French or Dutch word is enormous and the effort lies in finding the closest one, and inevitably it is never exactly what the original means. It is an unalterable fact that certain words cannot ever be translated, even when the source vocabulary is far smaller than the English.
There is an exact word for everything but not always for the same thing in every language. How can this be? Why, then, does English not have a word for it? But so it is and we must find a way around it, time and again. Titles often pose a major problem. Mudimbe and Le Baobab fou by Ken Bugul. I always make an effort to get to know personally the authors I translate, if only to be able to go to the very source for answers to whatever queries I will undoubtedly have, and more often than not I have been fortunate enough to succeed.
With the Mudimbe book, I put together list after list of possible translations of the word bel and the word immonde. Nothing worked. The results were either quite plebeian, a bit sleazy, or downright boring. I consulted with Mudimbe, we toyed with various titles, and neither of us liked what we came up with. He advised me to keep going with the novel and perhaps I would find something in the text itself. I contacted Mudimbe and suggested Before the Birth of the Moon.
He was as enthusiastic as I, and it did become the title of the published translation. And so The Abandoned Baobab was born. XXXVI, In the process of self-discovery that she goes through she uncovers things that are too potent, too serious, too enormous, too sharply against the grain, too taboo; they are not things meant to be disclosed [read: revealed — MdJ].
That is why [ This, it, me, her? In fact, the added pronoun matters little, for it is all about the rejection that the little girl, Ken, suffers: at the age of five, she is abandoned by the mother always the mother, only exceptionally my mother , a void that she later attempts to fill in a variety of ill-fated ways when she goes to Belgium to study. Returning now for a moment to the challenge of finding the, or a, good title, the two I mentioned above do work in English, I believe.
A writer creates, refines, and publishes a book, then moves on to the next one. How many translators are able to say the same? Each time I look at a supposedly finished and now printed translation — which I try not to do too often — I see things I would do differently today. However, this is not only a striving for perfection but also because, to quote George Steiner once more: Language is in perpetual change.
But ordinary language is, literally at every moment, subject to mutation. This takes many forms. New words enter as old words lapse. Grammatical conventions are changed under pressure of idiomatic use or by cultural ordinance. The spectrum of permissible expression as against that which is taboo shifts perpetually. At a deeper level, the relative dimensions and intensities of the spoken and the unspoken alter. This is an absolutely central but little-understood topic. Inward discourse has its complex, probably unrecapturable history [ Inevitably and a priori every translation encounters the question of cultural differences, expressed not only in descriptions of foods, dress, religious and social customs, for example, but in the very language and style of the work, even within the framework of a same continent such as Europe.
When the divide between the two cultures of source and target languages is wider, the ear needs to be even more finely tuned, research becomes more unmistakably urgent, and cul- 92 FLS, Vol. XXXVI, tural sensitivity is a prerequisite. In their art, many African writers by necessity use not their mother tongue but the official language of their country — a seemingly permanent remnant of colonialism, even when in their daily life they speak Wolof, Haussa, Swahili, Lingala, Bambara, Bassa, or any other of the hundreds of African tongues.
Those authors who do write in their mother tongue cannot escape having a much smaller readership and will most likely remain relatively unknown outside their own culture. Initially writing in English, he writes in Kikuyu now, then translates his books himself or has them translated into English. I recently read that Boubacar Boris Diop is doing the same thing in Senegal, writing in Wolof these days. Assia Djebar reads and speaks Arabic fluently, but writes in French only, yet not only the subject matter of her books but the lyricism of her French, too, reflects a decidedly non-French background.
To write To write my voice, the one that I once had and still today is tingling in my toes, beneath my naked feet that spin in panic every night until they reach the shore of dawn To write the voice of every little girl, that voice of hers as it lies nestled in her hair concealed beneath the scarf of shining black, the voice of the maiden with the shaven skull while her eyes of terror widen as she faces all of you, faces only you who, so much later, write.
Djebar It stands to reason that colonialism has left its imprint on much of the content of African literature, especially in the work of the older generation. Innumerable are the novels and volumes of poetry dealing with colonialism, its repercussions, the personal and communal suffering during, and subsequent to, the occupation of the European rulers. In more recent work by a younger generation, we find a growing concern with life in Africa today unrelated to anything European.
These are primary and recurring themes in both Ken Bugul and Werewere Liking, in whose worlds there is an everpresent emphasis on the position of and attitude toward women, which we find in much African fiction, but particularly and certainly not surprisingly in the work of female authors. Fictitious accounts, faces and murmurings of a nearby imaginary, of a past-present that rebels against the intrusion of a new abstraction.
From the Arabic? From collo- de Jager 95 quial Arabic or from feminine Arabic; one might just as well call it underground Arabic. I could have listened to these voices in no matter what language, nonwritten, nonrecorded, transmitted only by chains of echoes and sighs. It leaves women with nothing but one another, and other women are then the only ones with whom and upon whom she can begin to experiment with the sound of her own voice. It is this that becomes the ultimate challenge for the translator of her work: the silences between the lines, the pauses between the notes, the downcast eye between the open gazes, the quiet that follows the death of a woman of earlier generations and lies between it and the birth of her greatgranddaughter who will water and tend the centuries-old memory of woman.
The amputation of memory also leads to silence, for how can you speak of what you do not remember? And who are we, who can we be, if we do not have the memory of where we came from, what our culture is, who we are individually and collectively as people? We must then become what we are told we should be, because we have no other information on which to rely and base our growth. Liking consciously and with great pain excavates her memory, digging like an archeologist for the experiences she had lived without at the time, comprehending their significance, and by doing so she constructs her life as an adult woman, finding deeper wisdom with every exhumed piece, a wisdom she then relays to her own children and grandchildren.
It is a lovely collection of women who form a trinity of marvelous, stern but compassionate, smart, courageous, and humorous models, although certainly not without flaws of their own. The question of female subjugation — whose permanent companion is silence — is ever-present in many literatures.
The themes of expected obedience, submission, and resulting silence are everywhere in the work of Djebar, Liking, and Ken Bugul. And when the female character resists, whether she does so quietly or revolts openly, she enters a dangerous world, colliding with established mores and patriarchal domination, risking rebuke, banishment from the family, or exile. And often cannot say it. That, too, is the mission of the literary translator: to tell the reader of a different language and culture what the author of the original text hides away, what she must say, and where she is.
In conclusion, a few words about what I have learned, and what has, indeed, been revealed to me on a personal level through the act and art of translation. Almost twenty-six years ago, on our first date, my husband and I attended a political meeting. Not until I began to translate African literature did I realize how right he had been. Coming from three generations of Dutch colonialists in Indonesia, where I was born and spent my first decade, reading the work of African authors was truly a revelation for me.
On some level I had always known the evils colonialism had wrought, but hearing the personal voices of these writers and the characters they had created, the pain before, during, and after colonialism became brightly illuminated, a burning torch in what was until then mostly a fog of my own childhood memories, and I felt compelled, feel compelled, to bring those voices to a wider audience through the also-political act of translation. My translation work, however, will go on as long as 98 FLS, Vol.
XXXVI, my head and hands keep functioning, bringing both the voices and their silences to a different and broader audience, being a link in the chain. I have also learned a great deal about what it means to be a woman and for that feel deeply indebted to the work of Bugul, Djebar, and Liking. Fetching it to me with full hands; How could I answer the child? I do not know what it is any more than he.
I guess it is a uniform hieroglyphic, And it means, Sprouting alike in broad zones and narrow zones, Growing among black folks as among white Bugul, Ken. Le Baobab fou. Marjolijn de Jager. Chicago: Lawrence Hill Books, Afterword by Jeanne Garane. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, La Folie et la mort. Riwan ou le chemin de sable. Crystal, David. English as a Global Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Gainesville: University Press of Florida, Diop, Boubacar Boris.
Murambi, le livre des ossements. Paris: Stock, Fiona McLaughlin. Murambi, The Book of Bones. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, Djebar, Assia. Paris: Des femmes, Women of Algiers in Their Apartment. Afterword by Clarisse Zimra. Paperback ed. Frost, Robert. London: D. Nutt, Liking, Werewere.
Paris: Publisud, The Amputated Memory. New York: The Feminist Press: Mallon, Thomas. Minh-ha, Trinh T. Le Bel Immonde. Before the Birth of the Moon. New York: Simon and Schuster, Neruda, Pablo. Extravagaria: A Bilingual Edition. Alastair Reid. London: Cape, Rabassa, Gregory.
New York: P. American Center, Steiner, George. After Babel — Aspects of Language and Translation. London: Oxford University Press, Thomas, Chantal. This study analyzes how the self-translator and translator alike deal with various linguistic and cultural realities presented by African languages upon translating them into French and then into English.
Most critics have claimed that the opposite is true — that French as a language of the colonizer is one that the African writer has been forced to accept. As Kwaku Gyasi claims, the early African writers started to write in the languages of the colonizers without considering all the implications involved in the use of such languages. In the zeal to destroy the stereotypical images of Africa and to project their African world view, these writers may have considered the colonial languages as mere tools or means to achieve their objectives.
One writer who clearly challenges all of these assumptions, however, is Cameroonian novelist and playwright, Werewere Liking, whose works in French resemble no Western forms of fiction and whose language and registers are highly distinctive. Self-taught in French as an adult, Liking had been immersed during her youth exclusively in the language, rituals, traditions, and teachings of her native Bassa culture of Southwestern Cameroon.
Gyasi further claims: [ According to each individual writer, the European language in Africa is given different hues and shades. Through her writing and self-translation, Liking essentially engages in the act of redefining African orality. Liking may have found less creative freedom in Cameroon because she was indeed too close to home — that is, translation as cultural production simply could not be as widely appreciated for several reasons. According to Conteh-Morgan then, we can say at the very least that all Cameroonian spectators are not sharing in the same experience and understanding of the play, and to another extreme, some may even find the aestheticization of a sacred ritual offensive FLS, Vol.
Her performance art has less readily been labeled sacrilegious; indeed, it has been praised for being highly innovative. Gyasi offers an explanation as to what contributes to this success: Even though the African writer uses symbols and metaphors that touch on a real African situation to reflect or express an idea, he or she also goes beyond a particular time and place because, by writing in a foreign language, the final product is invested with meanings that apply in varying degrees to different people and societies. Therefore, not only does Liking successfully transform her work into written form, but she translates it, for the most part, into Bassainfused French.
The thought of yet another person tackling an English translation that remains faithful to these already intricate linguistic and cultural nuances is seemingly a daunting task for even the most experienced translator. Obviously, the translator of English is using as reference a text that has been translated initially into French by Liking.
Similar to what Liking has done in French, the translator of English must also convey all the cultural nuances of the African text within the limitations of what is possible in English, which in turn may differ from what is feasible in French. Linguists Vinay and Darbelnet identify some of the potential problems in translating from French to English alone; namely, taking into account differences in the two languages regarding metalinguistic information of message 29 , situational equivalence 39 , and cultural lacunae Gyasi also posits that translators of African texts have a Toman tendency to adhere too closely to the tenets of translation theories developed in the West, which may result in a translation that gives primacy to the European languages that the African writer has so fiercely sought to subvert in the act of writing The Francophone African Text Furthermore, as both writer and translator, Liking obviously has an advantage over the translator of English, who, as an outsider to the initial work, has less linguistic freedom.
Noss claims that one of the reasons why the ideophone poses such a dilemma for the translator is precisely because of its incredible adaptability to creative rhetoric In her written texts as well as in her oral performance, Liking uses a familiar combination of Bassa and French, but she seems to use less Bassa in the written form with the exception of ideophones and proverbs.
It is unclear as to why Liking decided on this change in the published play; perhaps it is because the oral performance relies more heavily on a musicality that is achieved through the retention of certain words in Bassa. It may, however, be a message that Liking intended for a Western audience to understand, and the context in which the phrase is found in the written text, as opposed to the oral performance, would not allow the reader to know its true meaning had it remained in Bassa.
This explains why Dingome, as translator, feels the need at times to provide —————————— 2 Noss observes, for example, that in a dictionary of Zulu a language of South Africa , there are at least three to four ideophones on every page. In his last example, ideophones comprise one in every four entries in the Ghaya-French dictionary Ghaya is spoken in the border region of Cameroon and the Central African Republic . In all of her works and performance art, it is clear that Liking is translating both culture and language.
Indeed, we see this in a text such as the aforementioned La Puissance de Um, in which the retelling of a funeral rite of the Bassa serves two purposes: to pay respects to someone the community has lost, while at the same time having each member, including the deceased, reflect upon his or her own personal responsibility or lack thereof within the community and towards others. Liking often uses such a technique in her writing, ultimately allowing her readers to question their own accountability concerning societal problems. However, one of the liberties taken by Liking as cultural translator was to change certain elements of the ritual in an attempt to render Bassa women more powerful, as she believed them to be in precolonial times.
See Dingome 10 comments of Siga Asanga. However, it is the normally voiceless and supposedly, ritually silenced Ngond Libii who in fact brings the mourners to the realization of their faults, which have led in part to the death of their leader and to the symbolic death of their rich culture. As a woman writer, Liking espouses feminist ideals typical of African matriarchal social structures that differ from Western feminisms, in the sense that Liking advocates the idea of women and men being equally different, as opposed to their being considered equal.
Thus, through language and her references to various myths and rituals, Liking provides a translation of these concepts into French. This assertion poses an interesting challenge for Liking as her own translator, as she seeks a way of transmitting these cultural nuances of African matriarchy from Bassa to a seemingly more patriarchaloriented language, French.
To further complicate matters, various African languages, unlike French, are genderless. Liking uses the image of a birth by cesarean, the more violent, medicalized form of birth, as a reminder of how patriarchy is embedded in language and also as a symbol of the urgent necessity for a new language to emerge — one in which women have —————————— 4 Translation mine. Toman a more rightful status. The coming, or the subjective anastrophe rather than the catastrophe , of the female has not yet taken place. As of yet, she neither affirms nor develops her own forms.
She lacks some kind of growth, between the within of an intention and the without of a thing created by the other [ See French version, page 17, and the English translation, page At the very end of the work, however, the narrator questions his own identity, shifting between possible selves modeled on those of males and females whose origins are found in African oral tradition.
Was I the half-brother, in the background, but faithful friend Manding Bori? Or one of the sorceresses? While the West clings to a binary categorization of gender, there is evidence that African languages and traditional cultures are less rigid by comparison. Using the Igbo language as a prime example, Nigerian feminist scholar Ifi Amadiume explains in books such as Afrikan Matriarchal Foundations and Male Daughters, Female Husbands that Toman the fact that various African languages have fewer gender distinctions makes it possible to see certain social roles as separate from sex and gender, making it plausible for either sex to fill the roles Afrikan Amadiume attributes this to the influence of African matriarchal heritage on language, thereby differentiating African languages from those in the West, which carry rigid sex and gender association Afrikan Although in the novel, Liking pairs up the misovire with a misogynist, the misovire is not to be understood as a man-hater or the antithesis of the misogynist, but rather someone who is thus far unsatisfied with the men she has encountered.
If we consider the misovire as a product of an African matriarchal world, then the misovire would FLS, Vol. XXXVI, still expect that man is potentially her complement as opposed to the hierarchized patriarchal world in which woman is of a status inferior to man. Thus, the misovire is analogous to the misogynist in their respective matriarchal and patriarchal realms. With the creation of the New Race — one that will free Africa from its current misery and oppression — the social conditions that create the misovire and the misogynist would simply disappear into a world apart. Even as a self-translator, Liking, in her quest for ownership of the French language, essentially shares with Dingome and de Jager some of these same goals.
Toman Works cited Achebe, Chinua. Chinua Achebe. London: Heinemann, Amadiume, Ifi.
Surrey: Karnak House, London: Zed Books, By Werewere Liking. San Francisco: International Scholars Publications, Bjornson, Richard. Conteh-Morgan, John. Dingome, Jeanne, et al. Gyasi, Kwaku. New York: Peter Lang, Irigaray, Luce. To Speak is Never Neutral. Jaccard, Anny-Claire. Kotey, Paul, ed. New Dimensions in African Linguistics and Languages.
Trenton: Africa World Press, Elle sera de jaspe et de corail. Une Nouvelle terre. Abidjan: Nouvelles Editions Africaines, La Puissance de Um. Abidjan: CEDA, Makuchi Nfah-Abbenyi, Juliana. Noss, Philip. Vinay, Jean-Paul, and Jean Darbelnet. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Co. Wright, Kathryn.
His sermon is translated into Fang by an interpreter. However, in the English version, the confrontation of the written text — the English subtitles — and the oral text, that of the film script itself, manifests another type of discourse. Viewers who are able to understand both English and French constitute a specific audience. Bassek ba Kobhio looks critically at Albert Schweitzer — the physician, the missionary, the philosopher, the theologian, the musicologist, the organist, and also the Nobel Peace Prize winner. Then the chief allows Bissa to play a key role during this ceremony and offers him Bissa as a sign of friendship.
It is not obvious that the drummer succeeds in making him revise his ethnocentric discourse on the purity and universality of classical European music, however. Because the Great White Man is deeply irritated by the unrefined sound of the drum, he will eventually give the drummer a trumpet as a Christmas present, urging him then to barter his African instrument for a more acceptable European substitute.
By doing so, the Great White Man states his conditions for accepting to pursue this musical dialogue initiated by the drummer. At this point in the film, we learn that she would sleep on the floor when he would occasionally let her enter his room after the death of his wife. Because it uses a faulty translation in the subtitles provided by the California Newsreel English version, the scene can be read from two significant angles: 1 from an African perspective of spirituality, and 2 from a European perspective.
The differential status between an African and a European spirituality results in a clash between a colonial and postcolonial mentality. Hence, in the scene where he preaches the Gospel to the people, he needs to rely on a Gabonese interpreter to communicate his message to the villagers, who do not seem to understand the original French.
What should be learned from the Bible is sometimes easy. Dans ce sens, le travail dans toutes les conditions est un acte de salut. In this sense, work in all conditions is an act of salvation. You are sure to have a place in heaven if you work. Authorization to reproduce this picture was granted by California Newsreel. The French- and English-speaking audience From the perspective of a bilingual audience, able to consider both the original and the English subtitles, the analysis I propose is that of a privileged viewer-reader. In his sermon in French, Schweitzer is perceived as the theologian on a mission to Christianize and civilize, and he is apparently convinced that his message reaches his audience through the translation, something we know is not true, when we consider the subtitles.
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This reading of his symbolic power is indeed reinforced by the presence of his wife and two nurses all dressed in white, and sitting on stools higher than those used by the Gabonese people. At this point the doctor fails to understand that the interpreter transforms his words, that he is being mocked, and that it is actually the interpreter who is in command of the message, not Schweitzer. Most importantly — and this is the postcolonial twist — as Schweitzer does not show any interest in learning Fang and therefore fails to become a true translator-missionary, 7 he himself maps out a dynamics that contributes to the failure of his Christianizing mission, since the interpreter cannily subverts it.
Moreover, the posture and physical appearance of the interpreter, who wears western clothes, a colonial helmet, and holds a Bible in his hand, confer authority upon him for the Western viewer. By stealing his voice and therefore his colonial power, he substitutes himself for the voice and position of the Great White Man.
In so doing, he establishes a social, religious, and cultural distance between himself, as the talking subject, and the silent audience. As a result, they may not be able to identify the ideological impact such a complex game played by the Curtius interpreter can have on the audience. So, as a postcolonial parasite, the interpreter has the mission to unveil skillfully a theological subtext and to reveal its true intent: to reinforce a colonial mentality by using negative stereotypes.
In this position, the interpreter is a threat to the authority, credibility, and respect that the doctor has gained in the community. I would like to suggest that both the Great White Man and the interpreter articulate distorted colonial and postcolonial discourses. Therefore, postcolonial is not used in the chronological sense of the term, conquest-colonization-decolonization but to describe the deconstructive strategies that characterize a postcolonial mentality.
But Schweitzer does not rely on such a vocabulary. In other words, the interpreter supposedly tells the Gabonese that since the Great White Man is telling them they are illiterate, fornicators, and drunks, then they should choose to be so, and live the plenitude of the stereotypes. As a parasite, the interpreter chooses a discursive strategy that allows him to confuse the issues and to acquire authority as a disruptive go-between. Like all parasites in the biological sense of the word, he only exists if he inscribes himself into the power dynamics in which the Great White Man is immersed.
If I wanted to bring to an end my analysis of the various discursive strategies used in this scene at this stage, I realize that the French original version alone does not allow me to do so, since it does not allow for a duplicitous discourse of reinterpretation to be present in the words of the interpreter until the English subtitles appear in the film. Thus, the French-speaking audience is not given the opportunity to articulate a critical discourse as the other audiences are.
At this point only, the subtitles missing in the French version drastically change the ideological meaning. As is the case with the monolingual English audience, —————————— 9 Authorization to reproduce this picture was granted by Bassek ba Kobhio. XXXVI, the French-speaking audience is not in a position to encode the colonial-postcolonial dialectics that comes into play in the scene.
The Fang, French, and English-speaking audience The interpretation by a fourth audience fluent in Fang, French, and English adds a powerful twist to the three analyses proposed so far. At this stage, reflecting upon the interrelation between languages in the film, it seemed logical to verify whether the English subtitles correspond to what the interpreter was saying in Fang in the sermon scene.
And my investigation led to the question of the reception of such a film by an African audience, a consideration often ignored in studies of African Cinema. Interpreter: Medzu mese Nzame a nga dzo ne mi ke bo mia bo dzia me, ve mia yia ne wokh medzu mese a ke mine ekanege. You must do everything that God tells you to do. Interpreter: Edzam mia yia ne sile ezango, eti e ne foghe, ve ise, ise ete ede eke mine vole. Ce que vous devez attendre de Dieu, est que seul le travail va vous aider. What you can expect from God is that work alone will help you.
Jeannette Ekomie Cinnamon provided me with the transcriptions in Fang. You must know that God has given you all that you have. Great White Man: Amen. Interpreter: Medzu mese a ndokh man kobe mi, mia yia ne yen na. However, it has nothing of the sardonic and insulting thrust of the English subtitles available in the California Newsreel version. But does knowing the truth make my previous analyses inappropriate? Are interpretations by viewers of the California Newsreel version also faulty, inasmuch as they are based on wrong English subtitles? My earlier analyses need not be discarded, since both versions of the film —————————— 12 Neither California Newsreel nor Bassek ba Kobhio was able to identify the translator.
Ba Kobhio informed me that the translation was negotiated between California Newsreel and the producer. XXXVI, will continue to circulate, and multiple layers of interpretation will continue to be intertwined because of the missing the M3M original version or existing the California Newsreel version subtitles, and because of the geographical, linguistic, and ideological boundaries that the film has crossed. Moreover, is the omniscient Fang, French, and English-speaking audience in an ideal position to elaborate a definitive interpretation of the Bible teaching scene?
A greater confusion thus derives from knowing all three languages. From this perspective, one is able to guess the interaction that may have been mapped out between the actor who played the role of the interpreter in the film and Ba Kobhio. Might this be the reason why the California Newsreel translator, dissatisfied with the translation 13 in Fang, decided not to remain subservient to the original text?
As a performer, at this specific moment of the film, the translator barters the position of faithful translator for that of a cultural agent who produces meaning for a North American audience and requires that his reinvented English subtitles stand in their own right. In this scene that generates a weave of polysemic subtexts, each participant makes innuendos, wears a mask, subverts individual languages. This is how a postcolonial translation of a colonial mentality loses its meaning. I can only wish that one day, the California Newsreel trickster-translator will identify himself or herself and reveal to us the secret of his or her performance.
Thank you to Mamadou Badiane, John M. Cinnamon and Shelly Jarrett-Bromberg for their precious help in facilitating the translation process with these two informants. California Newsreel, Fanon, Frantz. Peau noire masques blancs. Higginson, Francis. Laronde, Michel. Memmi, Albert. Paris: Payot, Rosello, Mireille. Hanover, N. Postcolonial Hospitality.
The Immigrant as Guest. Stanford: Stanford University Press, Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty. Cary Nelson and Lawrence Grossberg. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, Wechsler, Robert. New Haven: Catbird Press, Les paroles qui divisent. Les actes qui scellent les trahisons. Les gestes qui enclenchent la terreur. All you have is the voice of the memory and the imagery thereof. Memory comes to you only in hearing.