Översättarens röst : en studie i den skönlitteräre översättarens roll med utgångspunkt i översättningar av Else Lundgren och Caj Lundgren

Translated title of the contribution: The Translator´s Voice. A Study of the Translator of Fiction Based on Translations of Else Lundgren and Caj Lundgren

Christina Gullin

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)


Whose text is a work of fiction in translation? The aim of this thesis is to examine what happens to a novel when it is translated from one language into another. By analysing the Swedish translations of six contemporary novels written in English I attempt to identify what I refer to as the translator´s voice. The translations have been made by two of Sweden´s most highly thought-of translators, Else Lundgren and Caj Lundgren.

The theoretical framework of my study is derived from Translation Studies, basically an empirical and interdisciplinary discipline, which is introduced in Chapter Two; Chapter One provides a general survey of previous research and thought on translation. My starting-point is a model for describing translations compiled within the descriptive branch of Translation Studies. Chapter Three is devoted to the translator Else Lundgren. After a short biographical presentation I summarise her views on, and experiences of translating. I then provide a brief survey of her translations, discussing how they have been received by the reviewers, and finally turn to a close reading of two of her translations: Julys folk, a translation of Nadine Gordimer´s July´s People, where Else Lundgren´s strategy of clarification is in evidence; and Heja Coventry, her version of Sue Townsend´s Rebuilding Coventry, where her mode of renedering substandard language is of particular interest. Chapter Four contains a general presentation of Caj Lundgren and an analysis of four of his translations. In addition to being a prolific translator, he works as a reviewer for the national daily Svenska Dagbladet, where he also publishes poems on topical subjects, an activity which has left imprint on his translations. In Jordiska makter, his translation of Anthony Burgess´Earthly Powers, I am particularly concerned with Caj Lundgren´s renditions of of the original´s rich vocabulary and phraseology. In De besatta, his translation of A.S. Byatt´s novel Possession, as well as his translations of Saul Bellow´s The Bellarosa Connection and Richard Ford´s Wildlife, my focus of interest is on characterization. In bellow´s novel, for example, the plot is told by a first-person narrator who recapitulates events that occurred during an earlier period of his life. Subtle linguistic changes cause the narrator to appear different in the translation from what he is in the translation. In the final chapter, which provides a survey of how translations are commented on in different kinds of reviews, the question is posed: whose text is scrutinised in a review of a work of fiction in translation?
Translated title of the contributionThe Translator´s Voice. A Study of the Translator of Fiction Based on Translations of Else Lundgren and Caj Lundgren
Original languageSwedish
Awarding Institution
  • Comparative Literature
  • [unknown], [unknown], Supervisor, External person
Award date1998 May 16
ISBN (Print)91-7966-520-9
Publication statusPublished - 1998

Bibliographical note

Defence details

Date: 1998-05-16
Time: 10:15
Place: Humanisthusets hörsal

External reviewer(s)

Name: Granqvist, Raoul
Title: Docent
Affiliation: Linköpings universitet


Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Languages and Literature

Free keywords

  • litteraturkritik
  • litteraturteori
  • Allmän och jämförande litteratur
  • literary theory
  • shifts
  • literary translation
  • Translation studies
  • literature criticism
  • reviewing
  • Translation
  • General and comparative literature
  • Översättning


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