Przekład biesiadny

Monika Woźniak


Translator’s Feast
To the stock conceptualizations of translation Elżbieta Skibińska offers a delicious
novelty: translation as a culinary art, and the translator as an expert chef who loves to serve
foreign foods, at times replacing exotic spices with local ingredients, but always with
fl air and fi nesse. This conceptualization organizes the author’s thoughts on translation as
the dynamics of intercultural relations, collected in The Translator’s Cuisine. Studies of
Polish-French Translatory Relations (Kuchnia tłumacza. Studia o polsko-francuskich
relacjach przekładowych). She brings into her discussion particularly Itamar Even-
Zohar, Antoine Berman, Laurence Venuti, Richard Jacquemond and Marie-Hélène
Catherine Torres. Her essays on Polish and French literature, translations created in the
two countries and their reception profi t also from the statistical analysis: the number
of specifi c translations which appeared over a chosen period. Skibińska concludes that
Polish literature in France is at stand-by, eagerly used when the need for its symbolic
resources appears. In Poland, French literature has been claimed by political regimes
and establishments to meet their ideological needs. The analysis clearly shows Polish
literature and culture as “peripheral” and the French as “semi-central”. This overview
and general discussion is supported by case studies which concentrate on translation
questions prompted by culinary issues: its lexicon and anthropology. Not surprisingly,
Claude Lévi-Strauss and his 1965 seminal essay Le triangle culinaire make an important
appearance in Skibińska’s argument.

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