World Literature

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World literature at Simon Fraser University is a dynamic, new program in literature and culture as these are produced and spread from one place to another. The Program is located in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences on the SFU Surrey campus. It is one of the first programs of its kind in the world.

Expanding the Moroccan Storytelling Circle: Adaptations of Indigenous Moroccan Orality from Paul Bowles’ Five Eyes to Betsy Bolton’s Maghrebi Voices

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Abstract: 

This essay examines the traces of indigenous Moroccan oral storytelling in various collections of translated work. By focusing on the variations of form across these collections, and highlighting the commonalities between these stories, this essay argues that traces of the oral tradition found in translations from Morocco are evidence to the survival of its storytelling roots, and that these adaptations create an opportunity for the growth of new spaces in the tradition. A key example is Paul Bowles’ Five Eyes, a 1979 text adapted from the oral stories of illiterate Moroccans. Being both a set of performances adapted into writing, as well as a set of collaborative translations, Five Eyes moves between genres. This essay considers such movement through a background of cultural mediation, utilizing Homi Bhabha’s concept of “third space”. It also offers the analysis of a consistent literary style across texts originating in orality as well as in written form, by using Joseph Frank’s now-classic framework of spatiality and temporality in narrative structure. Using Five Eyes to build a perspective towards the process of literary adaptations from oral traditions, this essay enters more recent Moroccan collections. Such narratives include Mohamed Said Raihani’s “The Moroccan Dream” – a collection of contemporary written translations by Moroccan authors. This essay then enters the discussion of the halqa storytelling tradition in Morocco through Richard Hamilton’s The Last Storytellers, to provide a comparison in style between legitimated and illiterate indigenous storytellers. These stories, though having diverged from a common heritage, show similar styles, structures and grammatical cues that originate in oral performance. Betsy Bolton’s website, Maghrebi Voices, provides a contemporary endpoint, juxtaposing components that occur in each previous example, including recorded oral stories, written narratives, commentary and translated works, on an online platform.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Mark Deggan

Locating Pinocchio Before 1940: The Italian Allegory Gone Awry in English Translation

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2012-04-23
Abstract: 

If we consider that the very basic element of a children’s story is its appeal to world literature, then a text like Pinocchio exists for and in translation. However, how the extra linguistic material functions and how it is dealt with in translation is the concern of this paper. Because Pinocchio has become an item of world literature by way of its translations, the allegory created by Carlo Collodi about the reality of the Italian situation post-Unification has been lost in English translation and replaced in the target culture by a pedagogical set of moral codes in order to replenish the story’s meaning. Consequently, the value of reading texts comparatively manifests in reconciling what is lost with what is gained. Reading the English translations in light of the original Italian story reveals respective intricacies of both cultures and validates the process of translation as a privileged mediator.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Melek Ortabasi