Baltic accent

2023 Vol. 14 №3

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. Strategy and practice of partial non-translation in contemporary poetry (a case study of Hong Kong and Russian authors)



The paper centers on the phenomenon of non-translation in the texts of bilingual poets who perform self-translation into the lect of a dominant, ‘larger’ tradition (Putonghua / Rus­sian). Non-translation is set in motion in the conditions of enhanced linguistic reflection of its authors and serves as a marker of a special affective connection with a lect that is permanently associated with a weaker position. Paradoxically, the attempt to expand readership by trans­lating into ‘larger’ lects relies on the strategy of non-translation. Non-translation captures the most content-laden elements of the poem, which in the original serve as a sign of the otherness of the cultural tradition correlated with the text. In this sense, non-translation has a performative character, since its very production emphasizes the critical difference and delimitation of linguistic and cultural traditions.


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