Ostępy języka. Modernistyczna proza Djuny Barnes w polskim tłumaczeniu

Izabela Sobczak


Backwoods of Language. The Modernist Prose of Djuna Barnes in Polish Translation

No sooner than after eighty years since the moment of the original publication of Djuna Barnes’s Nightwood was Polish literary market enriched by a translation of one of the most peculiar novels of the Euro-American modernism. Marcin Szuster’s translation under Polish title Ostępy nocy has already managed to earn much praise and also some prizes and open a first Polish discussion about the work of the eccentric American writer. The paper’s focus is to analyze the Polish translation of Nightwood with a special interest in Barnes’s style as it becomes a central character in the novel which connects, according to feminist critics (K. Kaivola, S. Benstock), to its emancipatory potential. In my paper I follow a claim that the complex style of this prose writing is a (conscious) manifestation of a woman’s voice (as an affect), behind which one can discover a body – one that experiences and is experienced (J. Taylor). The body, both a structural and a rhetorical category in feminist criticism, in Barnes’s prose can be seen as an element organizing time and space – therefore, ambiguity of her terms and complexity of style are forming a true translation challenge. Marcin Szuster as a translator needs to follow Barnes’s “distinctive point of view,” which is a “feminine” one and distanced by the length of gender, experience and time.

Słowa kluczowe: Ostępy nocy, krytyka przekładu, Marcin Szuster, Djuna Barnes, ciało, tekst, Nightwood, translation criticism, body, text