Australian Journal of French Studies

Translating Chantal Spitz: Challenges of the Transgeneric Text

Australian Journal of French Studies (2013), 50, (2), 177–188.

Abstract

Chantal Spitz is a leading Tahitian writer, whose stylistic and linguistic inventiveness poses particular challenges to the reader. Her writing shows a clear resistance to what we might term métropolitanité: the imposition of standards and values exported from France to French Polynesia through the process of colonization, and having an enduring effect as promulgated through the education system and the adoption of literary norms as "universal". Even more than the reader, the translator must come to grips with Spitz's deviations from such norms, in particular where there is a mingling of so-called written and oral codes. Beyond the pragmatic decisions necessitated on the translator's part by these hybrid texts, there lies a profound questioning by the author of the applicability of genre distinctions.

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Author details

Anderson, Jean