This article examines the way in which foreign editions of Art Spiegelman’s Maus, which narrates in comic book form the story of his father’s experience during the Shoah – as narrated to Art by him in later years – have dealt with one of the central themes of the book, namely the (un)translatability of trauma. The impossibility of telling is countered by an insistence on accuracy and detail, as well as the admission that language fails to convey the emotional distress associated with trauma. The current study focuses on the role of language and translation both in the English and in foreign editions. It first looks at translation as representation of an experience in the form of a narrative, in this case a comic book. One way through which Spiegelman succeeds in the telling of trauma without making sense of the Holocaust is represented by the role of language, particularly the choice to characterize the language of telling – his father’s speech – with broken English. Spiegelman’s concern with detail and accuracy can also be seen in his direct involvement in the translation of his work. The article discusses the translations of Maus into a number of languages and cultures, and considers how the use of broken language is carried over in the translations. More specifically, the focus is on comparing the translation into Italian by Cristina Previtali with a previous edition translated by Ranieri Carano.

The Language of Trauma: Art Spiegelman's Maus and Its Translations

BACCOLINI, RAFFAELLA;
2008

Abstract

This article examines the way in which foreign editions of Art Spiegelman’s Maus, which narrates in comic book form the story of his father’s experience during the Shoah – as narrated to Art by him in later years – have dealt with one of the central themes of the book, namely the (un)translatability of trauma. The impossibility of telling is countered by an insistence on accuracy and detail, as well as the admission that language fails to convey the emotional distress associated with trauma. The current study focuses on the role of language and translation both in the English and in foreign editions. It first looks at translation as representation of an experience in the form of a narrative, in this case a comic book. One way through which Spiegelman succeeds in the telling of trauma without making sense of the Holocaust is represented by the role of language, particularly the choice to characterize the language of telling – his father’s speech – with broken English. Spiegelman’s concern with detail and accuracy can also be seen in his direct involvement in the translation of his work. The article discusses the translations of Maus into a number of languages and cultures, and considers how the use of broken language is carried over in the translations. More specifically, the focus is on comparing the translation into Italian by Cristina Previtali with a previous edition translated by Ranieri Carano.
Comics in Translation
99
132
R. Baccolini; F. Zanettin
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/63224
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