„Widział na ulicy Murzyna, ale nie ludożercę”. O tłumaczeniu i poprawności politycznej

Michał Borodo

Abstrakt

Working on literary translation projects, translators will take many factors into consideration. The major points of reference include the original text, author and culture, but also the prospective reader of the translation, the policies of the publishing house, the larger institutional context, the dominant ideologies of the day and the new cultural environment that will be the new home for the translated text. The translator may prioritize some of these points of reference, paying less attention to others. For example, while translating a literary text produced long ago, the translator could treat it primarily as a document of a bygone era, respecting the integrity of the original, leaving the author in peace and moving the reader toward him, to use Schleiermacher’s words. Alternatively, s/he may decide to reevaluate and rephrase some of the original author’s formulations, for example, in the light of the expanded world knowledge available as a result of the progress of science or in the light of cultural and civilizational changes concerning the relationships among people, nations, sexes or races. The article focuses on Kaytek the Wizard, the English translation of Janusz Korczak’s children’s novel Kajtuś czarodziej, translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones and published by Penlight Publications in 2012. Originally published in 1933, the book contains numerous expressions and passages concerning racial issues and Black people, which would be, from today’s perspective, considered politically incorrect. What strategy was adopted by the translator while rendering these passages into English? Were they, eighty years after the original publication and in the present age of political correctness, partly mitigated or were they retained untouched in opposition to the politically correct pressure of the day? Or did the translator decide to adopt a middle course, retaining but at the same time partly toning down such passages? It is these questions that we will attempt to answer in this article.

Słowa kluczowe: poprawność polityczna, przekład literatury dziecięcej, przekład literacki, Janusz Korczak

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