Macquarie University
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37, 2⁰ le matin in translation: interpreting and transforming the voice of the other in literary translation

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posted on 2022-03-28, 20:29 authored by Estelle Hélène Borrey
This thesis comprises a case study in literary translation. As such, it presents a comparative translation analysis of Philippe Djian's 1985 French novel 37, 2° Le matin. This text is compared with two other corpus texts, namely Howard Buten's English translation, published in 1988 and known as Betty Blue: The Story of a Passion, and Daniele Petruccioli's 2010 Italian translation entitled 37° 2 al mattino. The two translations are examined both as literary texts in their own right, and as translations which recreate the French text that they interpret. My thesis is an investigation and evaluation of how specific contexts of production, reception, and circulation shape, and are in turn shaped by, the aforementioned corpus texts. As part of the investigation and evaluation of these contexts, Petruccioli's experience as a translator of Djian's texts is explored. My findings are supported by secondary sources and my own original research. Both Petruccioli and the translator in general are perceived as creators and "performers" of texts in translation. Literary translation is regarded in the context of this thesis as a complex textual performance which combines elements of creativity with intercultural and interlingual skills and sensibilities. Ultimately, it is argued that whilst Buten's 1988 English translation is commendable in many respects, it also contains some questionable elements, including examples of domestication, omissions, and mistranslations. I propose these can be avoided with the adoption of a semantic approach underpinned by a pro-foreignisation ethos. Although I critique some of the more significant omissions and mistranslations in Buten's text, the main thrust of my argument focuses on an evaluation of the strong domestication tendency evident throughout it. This tendency is presented as the fundamental reason that underpins the call for a retranslation of Djian's 37, 2° Le matin in English advanced herein. In addition to translation theory, my claims draw upon and are principally supported by postmodernist perspectives on interpretation, authorship, and the creation of meaning, and Lawrence Venuti's foreignisation and domestication paradigm as well as skopos theory. This last paradigm is developed and outlined by Katharina Reiss, Hans Vermeer, and Christiane Nord.


Alternative Title

Trente-sept virgule deux degrés le matin in translation.

Table of Contents

Part 1. The literary work - its authors and translators. Chapter 1. Introducing a case study of 37, 2⁰ le matin in translation - calling for a new English translation Chapter 2. 37, 2⁰ le matin in translation - theoretical frameworks Chapter 3. Philippe Djian's Weltanschauung - the experimental writings of an established rebel Chapter 4. Howard Buten - clinical psychologist, clown and one-time translator Chapter 5. Daniele Petruccioli - a visible "performer" of texts in translation Chapter 6. The purpose of retranslation, translation evaluation and the position of Philippe Djian in the receiving culture -- Part2. Corpus text analysis. Chapter 8. Introduction to corpus text analysis Chapter 9. Passages displaying similar or TL mediated effects in Howard Buten's translation Chapter 10. Three interpretations of 37, 2⁰ le matin compared : Buten, Petruccioli, and Borrey renderings Chapter 11. Significant and interesting passages in Daniele Petruccioli's translation Chapter 12. Philippe Djian's 37, 2⁰ le matin in translation - concluding remarks.


Theoretical thesis. Bibliography: pages 314-339

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD


PhD, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of International Studies

Department, Centre or School

Department of International Studies

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Karin Speedy

Additional Supervisor 1

Estela Valverde


Copyright Estelle Hélène Borrey 2015. Copyright disclaimer:




1 online resource (viii, 342 pages)

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