25 - 2013

Le traducteur : un écrivain refoulé ? Réflexions sur Les Nègres du traducteur, de Claude Bleton, et sur Vengeance du traducteur, de Brice Matthieussent

Corinne Wecksteen


This article will explore the link between translation and writing, focusing on two works of fiction, Les Nègres du traducteur by Claude Bleton, and Vengeance du traducteur by Brice Matthieussent. These novels share a common characteristic: they were written by translators making their debut as novelists. Moreover, the characters – and this is hardly coincidental – are themselves authors and translators through an audacious and thought-provoking role reversal and mise en abyme. This double movement will lead us to examine the translator’s status and his relationship with the author while factoring in notions of hierarchy, power and paternity. We shall envisage the death of the author from both a symbolic and physical viewpoint, and reexamine the relationship between translation, writing and creativity. We will see that this role reversal between author and translator in the novels allows us to reevaluate certain preconceptions about translators and to underscore the “dual” nature they derive from acting as go-betweens for two cultures and two intimately linked activities: translation and writing.

Key words

Author, Bleton, writer, Matthieussent, translator

October 28, 2013
  25 - 2013