The Why? And the How?

Gareth Wood

in Javier Marías's Debt to Translation

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199651337
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741180 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Modern Languages and Literature Monographs

The Why? And the How?

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This chapter sets out to answer two questions: why did Marías begin to work as a translator and how does he translate. To answer the first of these, the chapter examines in detail his lecture ‘Desde una novela no necesariamente castiza’, where he sets out the reasons for his initial rejection of his cultural and literary heritage in the early part of his career. Comparisons are made with other members of his generation, notably Antonio Muñoz Molina, to provide a wider picture of the ‘Novísimos’ generation of Spanish writers who came of age in the 1970s. To answer the second question, the chapter looks in detail at Marías's two most substantial essays on Translation Theory, placing them alongside works by George Steiner, José Ortega y Gasset, and Octavio Paz. Above all, Marías's attitudes to naturalization of the foreign culture through translation and to the degree of creativity involved in translation are the focus of discussion.

Keywords: Translation Theory; Novísimos; Antonio Muñoz Molina; José Ortega y Gasset; George Steiner; ‘Desde una novela no necesariamente castiza’; translation as creativity; Jorge Luis Borges

Chapter.  13645 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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