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Intimate EnemiesTranslation in Francophone Contexts$
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Kathryn Batchelor and Claire Bisdorff

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781846318672

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781846318672.001.0001

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The Négraille's Testament: Translating Black-Label

The Négraille's Testament: Translating Black-Label

Chapter:
(p.124) The Négraille's Testament: Translating Black-Label
Source:
Intimate Enemies
Author(s):

Kathleen Gyssels

Christine Pagnoulle

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9781846318672.003.0010

After briefly commenting on the comparative neglect of poems by Léon-Gontran Damas, one of the three founders of the Négritude movement, the article explores the specific difficulties inherent in the translation of his book-length Black-Label into English: how to retrieve the rhythm of those wistful lines, when to retain words in French creole, how to render deviance from standard language, how to preserve the fundamental uncertainty, including confusion about races and genders as well as about genres, that haunts the exiled persona. One of the strong points of the approach is that the authors are also the translators.

Keywords:   Léon-Gontran Damas, Black-Label, translation, Négritude, Caribbeanness, ungrammaticality, diglossia, exile, racialism, uncertainty

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