The fictions of translation

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Klaus Kaindl, University of Vienna, delivers the first CTIS Research Seminar for 2017

The fictions of translation: Fiction as a source of knowledge for translation studies

Thursday 9 February, 14.00-15.20, St Peters House Chaplaincy Auditorium, University of Manchester. All welcome.


Translators and interpreters have been fictionalised throughout many periods, in many cultures, languages and genres. However, it is the age of globalisation that brings about a real upsurge with an exponential increase in fictional representations of translators and interpreters. The massive fictional presence of translators and interpreters has not only made them more visible and contributed to their public image, it has also led to an increased scholarly interest. In my talk, I will explore what epistemological knowledge we can gain from fictional representations of translators and interpreters. For this purpose, first of all, we have to examine the relationship between fiction and reality in general and, the relationship between fiction and science, in particular. Subsequently, I will outline fields of research where fiction can provide key insights for translation studies. Finally, a comparison of selected French and German translation fiction will be discussed to develop concepts that help explain and analyze the obvious differences between fictional representations of translators or translation in different literatures.

Speaker biography

Klaus Kaindl is Associate Professor of Translation Studies at the Center for Translation Studies at the University of Vienna. Research interests include music and translation, translation of comics, fictional representations of translators and interpreters, Queer Studies and translation and translation pedagogy. Recent publications: Transfiction. Research into the Realities of Translation Fiction ed. together with Karlheinz Spitzl, Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 2014; Berufsziel Übersetzen und Dolmetschen ed. together with Mira Kadric. Tübingen: Francke, 2016; Queering Translation – Translating the Queer, ed. together with Brian Baer, New York/London: Routledge (forthcoming).