Australian Journal of French Studies

Intertextuality as Translatability: Regimenting Space (for French Translation) in Barry Maitland's La Malcontenta

Australian Journal of French Studies (2013), 50, (2), 189–205.

Abstract

In this article, a text, in this case an Australian crime novel, is analyzed in terms of its translatability. The framework adopted here is influenced by deconstructionism, and especially intertextuality, and as such translatability is taken as an inherent tendency of a text to extend beyond its own formal limits and to map itself onto a virtual, foreign version of itself. This mechanics will be shown to be reflected in the structure of Barry Maitland's second novel, The Malcontenta, especially in its exaggerated thickening of liminal spaces and reflexive staging of intertextuality. By comparing Benjamin's call for translation, or a text's translatability, to Genette's call of the epigraph, we consider how Maitland's referencing of a particular intertext oscillates between regimes that, again after Genette, can be considered autographic or allographic. Lastly, a re-reading of the denouement of Maitland's text will be offered - predicated on the frenchness, and specifically not the Frenchness, of a particular set of doors.

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Author details

Rolls, Alistair