|dc.description.abstract||The present study aims at analysing the French translations of three novels by
the Egyptian Nobel Prize winner Naguib Mahfuz: Zoqaq Al Midaq – Le passage des
miracles, translated by Antoine Cottin; Tharthara Fawqannil – Dérives sur le Nil,
translated by France Douvier Meyer; and Awlad Haratina – Les fils de la médina,
translated by Jean-Patrick Guillaume.
The translations will be analysed through Antoine Berman’s “Thirteen
tendencies” grid. We tried first to show how the tendencies at work in the French
translations lead to the destruction and the unwriting of Mahfuz’s novels, then to
demonstrate that the ethnocentric translation which underlies this deforming system
stands on a historical ground and transcends the translator’s individual idiosyncrasy.
The aim of the study is also to explore the translation criticism’s possible contributions
to the better understanding of the act of translating.
In the introductory chapter, which deals with translation in France during the
Classical Age, we tried to recast translational practices and reflexions in their
historical and cultural context and to show that les Belles Infidèles are nothing but the
consecration of the aesthetics of Classicism grounded on concepts such as “the genius
of the French language”, “taste”, “clarity”, and “reason”: The deforming tendencies
that Berman criticizes stand on a historical ground and have nothing to do with the
very essence of translation. This historical feature explains why the Classical tradition
is still so strong in France, and how it continues to govern the translation act, even if it
does so in a more subtle way, but which is even more dangerous since it is insidious.
The first main part was devoted to Berman’s theoretical project founded on
three principals: History of translation, Ethics of translation, and Analytics (Criticism)
of translation. In this part, we tried to explain Berman’s key concepts such as
« experience », « reflexion », « ethnocentric and hypertextual translation », « literal
translation », « archeology of translation », « ethics », « criticism »…etc.
In the second main part of the work, we compared the novels and their
translations. The Thirteen tendencies we chose as a reading model represent a clear
and applicable tool and offer the possibility to analyse prose translations at the level of sentences, syntagms and words and at the level of the novel as a whole. Thus, we have
tried to explain the theoretical grounds of the thirteen tendencies, one by one, since
Berman presented them very briefly. Then, we showed how each tendency works,
through examples that we drew from different texts, theoretical and fictional, before
implementing it on each of Mahfuz’s novels. Then, and in order to “frame” the text
analysis, we rapidly presented the “project of translation” as it materializes in the
paratexts: editorial information, translator’s footnotes, prefaces, etc.
The analysis showed: that the French translations of Mahfuz are ethnocentric
and hypertextual, i.e. Classical; that the destruction resulting from the deforming
tendencies as we have unveiled them does not operate only at the level of the “form”:
the very separation between form and content is what allows such destruction at the
first place; that the destruction is the result of a number of ready-made
misconceptions: of Arab literature, of Mahfuz, and of translation; and finally that The
reasons of the deviations are cultural, they transcend the translators’ individualities and
determine the way they see translation, all this despite the differences between the
literary and translational horizons within which the translations had been undertaken.||fr_FR