Caragh Barry
University of California Santa Barbara
ORCID 0000-0002-0511-7211
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Gender and Translation Theory in Fiction: Andrés Neuman’s El viajero del siglo
Dedalus 26 (2022), pp. 223-243. Download PDF


By deliberately choosing a female-identified translator character as one of the protagonists, Argentine author Andrés Neuman in his award-winning novel El viajero del siglo (2009) [Traveler of the Century] engages with often-overlooked aspects of translation that are central to feminist translation theory and those who work with gender and translation. This article examines this phenomenon as seen in Neuman’s novel and focuses on the identity and portrayal of the character Sophie Gottlieb, who defies expectations set for translators in previous works of fiction. This unique portrayal of the translator-character through Sophie exemplifies three main trends in translation theory when explored through a gendered lens: the idea of translation as an expression of agency (Simon 1996; von Flotow 1997; Maier 1998); the metaphorics of translation and the concept of production versus reproduction (Chamberlain 2012; Godayol 2013); and translation as collaborative, creative, and transformative (Littau 2000). By choosing to create an aristocratic female character in what would become modern-day Germany in the nineteenth century, Neuman both shows how women historically gained a form of agency through translation as well as defies previous expectations for what topics a translator character could be used to explore.
Keywords: translation; fiction; gender; metaphors; agency