AUC Philologica (Acta Universitatis Carolinae Philologica) is an academic journal published by Charles University. It publishes scholarly articles in a large number of disciplines (English, German, Greek and Latin, Oriental, Romance and Slavonic studies, as well as in phonetics and translation studies), both on linguistic and on literary and cultural topics. Apart from articles it publishes reviews of new academic books or special issues of academic journals.

The journal is indexed in CEEOL, DOAJ, EBSCO, and ERIH PLUS.

AUC PHILOLOGICA, Vol 2015 No 3 (2015), 83–98

Translatability of intertextual markers: verifying a paradigm

Marta Kaźmierczak

announced: 10. 03. 2016


The paper locates research on intertextuality in poetry translation within the paradigms set in 1957 by Olgierd Wojtasiewicz, the founder of Polish TS, who paid attention to what he called “erudite allusions” in translation a decade before the very term “intertextuality” was coined and adopted in Western Europe. The author tests one of Wojtasiewicz’s tenets: that the level of translatability of allusions depends on the recognizability of the source of allusion, understood in terms of cultural closeness. Thus, within European culture translatability of references to the Bible or to the Western canon could be assumed, while allusions to exotic cultures should be difficult to transpose. In the paper these assumptions are verified on the poetry of the Polish modernist Bolesław Leśmian and its translations into English, Russian and Czech. Examples have been selected from several intertextual domains – references to the Bible, to Indian culture, Slavonic mythology and Polish literature – so that varying cultural distance between the interacting texts can be observed. Wojtasiewicz’s paradigm is only partly confirmed, as favourable conditions do not necessarily correlate with successful re-creation of intertexts. The verification complicates the theoretical model, underscoring the importance of the human factor in translation and of empirical surveys in TS.

keywords: poetry translation; intertextuality; Bolesław Leśmian; Olgierd Wojtasiewicz; recognizability; cultural domains; Biblical, Hindu, Slavonic, Polish references

published: 4 x per year
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ISSN: 0567-8269
E-ISSN: 2464-6830