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Revolutionary Acts of Translation: Language and Freedom in Guy Endore’s Babouk

Scott, William David (2008) Revolutionary Acts of Translation: Language and Freedom in Guy Endore’s Babouk. In: Echoes of the Haitian Revolution, 1804-2004. University of the West Indies Press, Kingston, 522 - 541. ISBN 9789766402129

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In this essay, I will argue that Endore’s 1934 biographical-historical novel about the Haitian Revolution presents this event in terms of a crisis of linguistic intelligibility. For the novel’s main characters, the revolution itself must, initially at least, be disguised in and through acts of linguistic dissimulation. I propose that these acts of subversion or resistance can be fruitfully reread as acts of translation, which in turn point to the broader question of the cultural politics of translation in general. Moreover, as I will show, Endore’s novel suggests the need for a critical recasting of the relation between translation and the discourse of so-called universal historiography.


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Item Type: Book Section
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Scott, William Davidwdscott@pitt.eduWDSCOTT
Date: 2008
Date Type: Publication
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Publisher: University of the West Indies Press
Place of Publication: Kingston
Page Range: 522 - 541
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > English
Refereed: Yes
ISBN: 9789766402129
Title of Book: Echoes of the Haitian Revolution, 1804-2004
EditorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Official URL:
Additional Information: Permission to view the full-text article is subject to the publisher's access restrictions.
Date Deposited: 07 Nov 2012 21:06
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2017 05:06


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