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Three English Retranslations of The Tale of Genji

Oğuz Baykara

Abstract: The Tale of Genji, (Genji Monogatari) is a written by a Japanese noble woman, Murasaki Shikibu, and is the perhaps the earliest novel ever which is revered today as a chef-d'oeuvre in the world, even though it dates back to early eleventh century. The Tale of Genji covers almost three quarters of a century. This work, which was partially translated into English by a Japanese politician, Suematsu Kenchō, in 1882 (1974) was later translated into English by three native speakers of English: Arthur Waley (1937), Edward G. Seidensticker (1976), and Royall Tyler (2001). The retranslations of The Tale of Genji provide attractive material for Translation Studies, enabling scholars to observe the dynamics of literary translation. This study was conducted within the structure of certain fields such as polysystem theories, paratexts, retranslations hypotheses and translation strategies in the domain of Translation Studies. The article focuses on the global and local translation strategies of the three English translators and compares them in order to show how these strategies affect the target text.
Keywords: retranslations / century / Tale of Genji / structure / Japanese / translated into English

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