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Contradictory Woolf$
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Derek Ryan and Stella Bolaki

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780983533955

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9780983533955.001.0001

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“A Dialogue…about this Beauty and Truth”

“A Dialogue…about this Beauty and Truth”

Jorge Luis Borges’s Translation of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando

(p.243) “A Dialogue…about this Beauty and Truth”
Contradictory Woolf

Rebecca DeWald

Liverpool University Press

This chapter examines Jorge Luis Borges's 1937 translation of Virginia Woolf's 1928 novel Orlando. Borges's translation of Orlando was very popular in Spanish-speaking countries, but the text has been interpreted as being contrary to what Woolf might have had in mind: feminist readings of Borges's text have often focused on passages where the Spanish version does not fully cater for a feminist perspective, or even contradicts it. The chapter first considers whether Borges's translation of the novel posed (or still poses) a threat to feminist readings of Woolf's text. It then explores some differences between the English and Spanish language system which might trigger problems in translation and goes on to discuss how Borges's solutions have been and can be interpreted. It also analyzes feminist criticism, in the form of feminist Translation Studies, and argues that a “mutually enriching dialogue” is created by the presumed equality (rather than a hierarchy) of the original text and its translation.

Keywords:   translation, Jorge Luis Borges, Orlando, feminism, English, Spanish, feminist criticism, equality

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