Manuel Azuaje-Alamo
Waseda University
ORCID 0000-0001-7687-8854
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Intercultural and Intersemiotic Translation as Autobiography in Adriana Lisboa’s Rakushisha
Dedalus 26 (2022), pp. 157-181. Download PDF


Widely known throughout the West as the representative poet of the haiku tradition, Matsuo Bashō lived in seventeenth-century Japan and, besides haiku and renga poetry, also wrote a series of poetic travelogues. Adriana Lisboa’s 2007 novel Rakushisha prominently features one of these travelogues, Bashō’s Saga Diary 嵯峨日記, which narrates one of the poet’s journeys to Kyoto. Furthermore, Lisboa intertextualizes this travelogue by featuring three main characters all of whom perform different but parallel translational acts on Bashō’s text: (1) the Brazilian-Japanese female translator, Yukiko, who translates Saga Diary into Portuguese; (2) Haruki, Yukiko’s ex-lover, who is tasked with illustrating this Portuguese-language translation; and (3) Celina, Haruki’s new companion and the novel’s main narrator, who travels with him to Japan and, influenced by the diary format of Bashō’s original, re-writes The Saga Diary’s itinerary using a twenty-first-century, Brazilian-centered global tone, all while embedding Bashō’s original text into her narrative. This article analyses the ways in which Lisboa’s Rakushisha handles these different modes of translation by considering its structure and themes while also comparing Lisboa’s Portuguese-language text against Bashō’s original in classical Japanese.
Keywords: classical Japanese literature; Bashō; translation; Latin American literature; Adriana Lisboa; travelogues