Translation and the Reception and Influence of Latin American Literature in the United States
Krause, James Remington
This study examines the role of translation in the reception and influence of three canonical authors of Latin American literature in the United States: Jorge Luis Borges (Argentina), Pablo Neruda (Chile), and Machado de Assis (Brazil). I establish a sliding scale of translation quality that considers both literary and extraliterary factors in their US receptions. I also explore the concept of translation “failure,” arguing that a translation truly fails when it consistently misinterprets and misrepresents the source text. A “failed” translation hinders the reception of Latin American literature in the United States because it offers a distorted, and therefore unreliable, version of the original text to the American reader. In the case of Brazil, these “failed” translations have seriously compromised the reputation of Brazilian letters in the United States and in the developing field of inter-American literature.
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