Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Special Issue on Literature No. 4 October, 2016 Pp 162 172
Paul Bowles’s Translations from the “Moghrebi” in the Context of the American
Department of English Language and Literature
University Mohammed V
Since the Cultural and Social turns in Translation Studies, strong light has been shed on the critical role that the socio-cultural context of reception plays in the selection of a particular culture, author or a text for translation. As Carbonell (1996) argues, the motivation behind approaching and translating a text stems from the context where this text is going to be read and interpreted. Starting from this assumption, this paper places Paul Bowles’s translations of the oral stories of Tangier in the context of the American counter culture post World War II. The objective is to analyze the ways in which the interest and the expectations of the receiving culture during this period have conditioned Bowles’s selection and translation of the oral stories of Tangier. Being determined by the socio-cultural context and the expectations of the “Other”, the author argues that the translations of the oral stories of Tangier were read and interpreted in line with the reality of the “Other”, that is resistance in the context of the American counter-culture instead of resistance at home/ post-colonial Morocco. The paper concludes that translation in such contexts is a form of manipulation, for the intentions of the author and the translator are not the same. Therefore, meaning is “lost” as the text quits its original context of production (postcolonial Morocco) and becomes a novel about the “Other”.
Key words: American counter-culture, oral stories of Tangier, Paul Bowles, translation