A functional socio-semiotic reading of the paradox of literary demotion and popular promotion in translated bestsellers: Paulo Coelho's O Alquimista as a case in English, Arabic and Turkish
thesisposted on 28.03.2022, 22:28 by Sawsan A. Aljahdali
With copyrights sold in 80 languages, the contentious bestsellerdom of Coelho's O Alquimista (1988) creates a unique form of communication implementing a symbiotic language-culture relationship. These acts of narrative translation represent an act of communication in which, according to Hatim and Mason (1997), meaning recreating is separate from while it is still dependent on the original writing. Here, the intersemiotic and interlingual transformations take language-in-context as the broadest environment of translation. Studying O Alquimista in English, Arabic and Turkish, the present study adopts a comparative intersemiotic view of the recreated narratives along the multi-stratal systems of language and narrative. The study ventures to address the complexity of meaning recreation as governed by the value systems in the contexts of interpretation. In this light, the study argues that in order for the recreated narratives to appeal better to the targeted readers and to attune more sufficiently with the socio-semiotic values of their cultures, the acts of translation embrace processes of accommodating recreated narrative structures to the contexts of interpretation, and of creating discourse patterns that accentuate unique and distinctive texts within each context. Some SFG-based concepts, such as Halliday's metaredundancy (1992), Hasan's semiotic distance (1986/2011), and Matthiessen's (2001) meta-context, typological distance are essential ones here. Translated narratives are addressed in relation to style and context in two studies along the following narrative and linguistic strata: (1) semantic and socio-semiotic, viz., in relation to the recreated 'narrative structure' and the value systems of the meta-contexts; (2) discursive, addressing 'focalisation', as a narrative aspect reflecting the narrative dialogic stance. Focalisation as re-discoursed in translation is studied experientially and logicosemantically in excerpts accumulating images of the focal focaliser, some places, and dramatis personae. The narrative structure for each of these texts is constructed twice: internally in writing and externally in reading (Yaktine, 1989/2005, 1989/2006).