Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies - Journal articles

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    In process: The Catalan independence movement in on-stage translation
    (The Anglo-Catalan Society, 2019-09-21) Buffery, Helena
    This article focuses on aesthetic responses to what has come to be called “El Procés”, tracing different ways in which the recent evolution of nationalist politics in Catalonia has been represented on contemporary Catalan stages (including the Teatre Lliure, the Teatre Nacional de Catalunya, the Biblioteca de Catalunya and the Teatre Romea) through works by dramatists such as Sergi Belbel, Victoria Szpunberg, Narcís Comadira and Marc Rosich, and directors such as Lluís Pasqual, Xavier Albertí, Joan Yago and Oriol Broggi. After reflection on the limitations of dramatic forms for mediating the complexity of debates and positionings, alongside the ambivalent deployment and treatment of the theatrical in relation to the Catalan Independence movement, I go on to analyse different ways in which the sociopolitical trajectory of the pro-independence movement has been represented or re-framed on stage, ranging from attempts by Catalan dramatists to provide a space for negotiation of the velocity and impact of socio-cultural change, the use of on-stage translations from other, international contexts to mediate and reflect critically upon the local case for and against secession, to ephemeral experiments with documentary theatre in order to explore alternative ways of performing the relationship between the personal and the political. Placed in counterpoint with the overarching politics of framing and translation generated in the build-up to 1 October 2017 and its aftermath, these stagings emerge as dynamic environments of memory for past and more recent cultural trauma narratives.
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    Into the Woods: Translation and the transnational transmission of trauma on minority language stages
    (The Anglo-Catalan Society, 2022-02-25) Buffery, Helena
    This article approaches contemporary Catalan theatre as a translation zone, in which subjective limits are negotiated and identities (dis)articulated in the process. Focusing on works directed by Calixto Bieito and Oriol Broggi, who, despite their many differences, are known for engaging with interlingual and intercultural translation in the creative process, often beckoning overt reflection on the relationship between languages, environment and identity, the article excavates what three particular plays, Forests (2012), Incendis (2012) and Boscos (2017), all based on translations from more hegemonic languages, reveal about the place of minority languages on the global stage and about looking at the world from a minority-language perspective. In so doing, the article seeks to go beyond the more optimistic and celebratory readings of previous work on Catalonia-in-translation and to attend to the ways in which the asymmetries faced by minority languages in multilingual settings result in, or are experienced as loss, violence and/or trauma. Via diverse processes of translation, languages such as Catalan provide sensitive lenses for the transmission of narratives of transnational trauma, as a direct result of the daily negotiations of place, relatedness and resilience that they demand for survival. The title of the article, “Into the woods,” is intended to be read both literally and figuratively, in recognition of the increasing attention to eco-critical and environmental concerns in contemporary Catalan theatre and of the ways in which renewed attention to ecological survival often goes hand in hand with a commitment to language ecology. On a more figurative level, the article follows the cues provided by the metaphorical wordplay about woods and trees in the reception of Bieito’s Forests and Broggi’s Boscos in order to address the question of what the fact of different languages enables and prevents us from seeing—and what we can learn from making the effort to look at the world multilingually from the perspective of a minority language speaker.
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    The linguistic landscapes of contemporary Catalan theatre
    (2022) Buffery, Helena
    The concept of linguistic landscape emerged from ethno- and sociolinguistics to refer to the visibility of the diverse languages that co-exist in a defined territory and the necessity to map the changing relationship between them. Within the field of Translation Studies, it has been combined with eco-critical approaches to rethink the complex connections between languages, cultures, and territories, always recognising the vulnerability of minority languages in the context of globalization. In this initial contribution, I want to explore the changes in the linguistic landscapes of contemporary Catalan theatre, linking them to the triple crisis — socioeconomic, political, and environmental — which has been experienced with particular intensity between 2008 and 2021. I will look at three aspects of these ecolinguistic changes: 1. The presence and visibility of plurilingual dramaturgies; 2. The treatment and recovery of invisible or marginal figures from Catalan theatrical tradition (above all as relates to dialectal diversity); 3. The role of translation from other traditions (especially as regards the representation of linguistic conflict and minority cultural identities). El concepte de paisatge lingüístic prové de l’etnolingüística i la sociolingüística per referir-se a la visibilitat de les diverses llengües que conviuen en un territori determinat i la necessitat de cartografiar-ne la relació. En el marc dels Estudis de Traducció, s’ha combinat amb qüestions ecològiques per repensar la complexitat de la connexió entre llengües, cultures i territoris, tot reconeixent la vulnerabilitat de les llengües minoritàries dins dels marcs actuals de la globalització. En aquesta primera aproximació, voldria explorar els canvis en els paisatges lingüístics del teatre català contemporani, tot relacionant-los amb la triple crisi —socioeconòmica, política i ecològica— que es va viure amb intensitat entre els anys 2008 i el 2021. Tractaré tres aspectes d’aquests canvis ecolingüístics: 1. La presència i la visibilitat de dramatúrgies plurilingües; 2. El tractament i la recuperació de figures invisibles o marginades del patrimoni teatral (sobretot, pel que fa a la diversitat dialectal); 3. El paper de la traducció d’altres tradicions (especialment pel que fa a la representació de conflictes lingüístics i identitats/cultures minoritàries).
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    Joan Maragall in English: Afterlives, "sur-vival" and retranslation
    (Biblioteca de Catalunya, 2023-12) Buffery, Helena
    This article traces and analyses Joan Maragall's poetic legacy in English via a consideration of the ways in which his works have been translated and retranslated (with certain poems, such as the "Cant espiritual" and "La vaca cega" having merited multiple versions) over the past hundred years. Through a chronological survey of translations from the 1920s up to the most recent anthologies by Michael Odon (Count Arnau & Other Poems, 2017) and Ronald Puppo (One Day of Life is Life, 2020), I set out to uncover the version of Maragall that was able to travel in each period, as well as establishing and elucidating the particular interpretations of his work found in each of the nineteen different translators, reading each of the different versions as events in translation history. This is followed by closer theoretical analysis from the perspective of recent debates in retranslation history, drawing in particular on deconstructive readings of Walter Benjamin's "Task of the Translator" that posit the need to go beyond narratives of teleological progress to consider the relationship between the original and subsequent translations in terms of afterlives, sur-vival, differance and textuality. The article ends by placing translations of "L'oda infinita", El Comte Arnau and the "Cant Espiritual" in dialogue as retranslation constellations that provide multiple insights into the Maragallian text. Aquest article ressegueix i analitza el llegat poètic de Joan Maragall en llengua anglesa mitjançant consideració de la manera en què la seva obra ha estat traduïda i retraduïda (perquè d’alguns poemes, com el «Cant espiritual» i «La vaca cega», existeixen múltiples versions) al llarg del darrer segle. Començant amb una revisió cronològica de les traduccions produïdes entre els 1920s i les antologies més recents de Michael Odon (Count Arnau & Other Poems, 2017) i Ronald Puppo (One Day of Life is Life, 2020), s’intenta esbrinar la versió del poeta català que va conseguir mobilitzar-se en cada període, a més d’establir i elucidar les interpretacions particulars que en fan els 19 traductors tractats. En aquesta primera part, cada una de les versions és llegida com a esdeveniment singular en la història de la traducció. La segona part de l’article se centra en l’anàlisi dels textos des de la perspectiva de la retraducció, entrant en diàleg amb aproximacions recents que parteixen de lectures deconstructives del famós article de Walter Benjamin, «La tasca del traductor», per proposar la necessitat d’anar més enllà dels relats historiogràfics de progrés teleològic per llegir la relació entre original i traduccions subsegüents en termes de vides pòstumes (afterlives en anglès), sobre-vivència, diferència i textualitat. Centrant-nos en les diferents versions angleses de «L’oda infinita», El Comte Arnau i el «Cant espiritual», en proposem una lectura que les posa en relació, com a constel·lacions de re-traducció que ens ofereixen una multiplicitat de perspectives sobre el corpus maragallià.
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    Sketches of black people by white Catalan-Cuban intellectuals: Transculturation in Fernando Ortiz’s and Jaume Valls’s Afrocubanismo in 1920s Havana
    (University of Miami Libraries, 2020-12-21) Jerez Columbié, Yairen
    The study of the raise of Afrocubanismo enables understanding of how, during the 1920s, Cuban nationalism adapted in order to exploit the recombinant qualities common to the territories of the Caribbean. Drawing on Fernando Ortiz’s, Stuart Hall’s and Paul Gilroy’s theories on the formation and construction of identities, this article brings a focus on the positions of enunciation within the practices of representation of blackness by cultural theorist Fernando Ortiz and visual artist Jaume Valls, in order to illustrate their role and the role of other members of the Catalan-Cuban intellectual community in the movement of Afrocubanismo and the reshaping of the idea of Cuban national identity during the 1920s. The analysis includes a comparison of graphic artists Lluís Bagaria’s and Jaume Vall’s representations of blackness in the Catalan-Cuban journal La Nova Catalunya (Havana, 1908–1959) in order to illustrate the processes of transculturation expressed through the representation of black subjects in the journal as part of the wider processes of recreation of identities within the Catalan-Cuban intellectual community during the first three decades of the twentieth century. The article addresses the limitations of nationalistic points of view to grasp de complexities of diasporic realities and highlights the usefulness of the concept of transculturation to understand processes of formation of identities in twentieth-century Cuba.