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Can Mirrors Be Said to Have Memories? A Polish Katerina Brac Looks Back at Her English Reflection

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 October 2020

Extract

In 2002, the author of Katerina Brac (1985), Christopher Reid, commented on the reception of his book, concluding, “it has been translated only once—into Polish, to my intense pleasure, by Leszek Engelking and Jerzy Jarniewicz. A Polish friend tells me their version reads extremely well” (“Katerina and Her Kind” 93). This laconic statement, aimed to round off the discussion about the success in the world of Reid's collection of poems, in fact does not end the discussion but raises questions about how and why we should approach a pseudo-translation from the standpoint of its fictitious original. In this essay I argue that reclaiming one's exoticized identity through translation can constitute an act of critical autoexoticism.

Type
Theories and Methodologies
Copyright
Copyright © Modern Language Association of America, 2017

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