Översättarröst och Översättarstrategi i Dagarna, ett översättningsmanuskript av K. V. Zetterstéen

Tetz Rooke


K. V. Zettersteéns newly discovered translation from 1953 of Taha Husayn’s al-Ayyam (The Days) is the first translation from modern Arabic prose literature into Swedish as far as we know today. It was made to convince the Nobel Committee that the Egyptian author deserved the Nobel Prize for literature. The electronic publication of the manuscript offers new insights into the scholarly work of the great Orientalist. This article is a descriptive analysis of the translation as such. The aim is to uncover the voice of the translator in the text, establish his principles and evaluate the result from a literary point of view. As a literary translator Zetterstéen comes across as a literalist. He is faithful to the linguistic details of the source text and successfully transmits the content, but fails to communicate the humor and the finer elements of style. Dagarna is an ad- equate translation of the original, but has functional flaws. The manuscript highlights the need for a Swedish retranslation of the Arabic classic, but cannot fulfill this role itself.

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