Het onmogelijke voorbij: fantastische literatuur in vertaling Beyond the Impossible: Fantastic Literature in Translation
Over the past few decades, fantastic literature has received increasing scholarly attention. However, studies focusing on the discourse of the fantastic and its translation are rare and suffer from small sample sizes. This gap is addressed in the current dissertation, which focuses on the contemporary manifestations of the genre and the challenge they pose to translators. This dissertation offers two major contributions. One has a narratological focus and presents a methodological basis for the study of fantastic literature. It provides an instrument for analysis that is not limited to merely observing the vagueness and ambiguity that characterize the fantastic stories but also offers novel knowledge about which linguistic and narrative devices are responsible for this effect. As such, the instrument allows to trace the fantastic textually. The other is a contribution to translation studies. The subversive effect that is inherent to the fantastic emerges more and more from experiments with language rather than being dependent on the traditional fantastic themes. This evolution increases the relevance of the distinction between a “fantastic of perception” and a “fantastic of language or discourse”. The dissertation argues that the subtle and technical aspects of the latter option complicate the translation process and affect its result. Evidence is adduced from a wide range of short and short-short stories by Jorge Eduardo Benavides, Fernando Iwasaki Cauti, and Julio Ramón Ribeyro supporting this claim. In this way it is possible to demonstrate that the contemporary fantastic is less fantastic in a different literary system and that its translations limit the genre’s potential to provide critique of current human, social, and political practices.