TNA Fellow Ewa Data-Bukowska

The principle of sustainability as the basis for the translator’s stylistic creation

The overarching objective of the project is to prove whether the Swedish translation of Witold Gombrowicz’s unique novel “Trans-Atlantyk”, conducted by the translator Anders Bodegård (first published 2009) is based on a certain general principle that has become the basis for the translator’s stylistic creation and consequently a sense-making mechanism for multi-level readings of the novel on the ground of the foreign target culture – readings that may be seen as congruent to the ways, in which the text is read in the source culture.
The hypothesis set forth in the project is that what underlies the translator’s stylistic creation of the Swedish text is the principle of sustainability, cognitively economical and deeply inscribed in the functioning of natural language in communication. The reference is to the archetypal concept of sustainability as conceived by Hans Carl von Carlowitz (1645-1714). Viewed in this way, the principle pertains to finding a balance between the lost (old) and the new at the level of linguistic structures. In the Swedish translation, the principle has come to the fore through the translator’s following the guidelines of Gombrowicz himself and on the other hand through the translator’s creative approach to communication, his use of linguistic structures that today can be labeled as progressive (new) in Swedish. The frequency and combinations of such structures, conceived at different language levels constitute patterns of expression that underlie the linguistic construction of the translated text and its multifaceted style. Finding out such patterns and contextualize them with the purpose to prove the work’s translatability at the level of style are the aims of this research.

In this video, CLS INFRA TNA Fellow Ewa Data-Bukowska speaks about the project: ‘Language use in the paradigm of sustainability: Swedish translations of the works of Witold Gombrowicz’