When Translating Becomes a Ludic Ativity

Abstract

Suggesting that translating is ludic can come as a surprise, as for most of us translating involves finding a corresponding word in another language – hardly a ludic process. This article focuses on the translation of works by the OuLiPo, a group of French writers who experiment with the use of constraints in writing. My approach to translation consists of identifying the Oulipian constraints inherent in the source text and adapting them to the target text. This approach implies finding a way, in the translation process itself, of overcoming the constraint without transgressing it, which in turn engages with the imaginative content of translation. I will suggest that the ludic aspect of translation is dual. It consists of the ludic elements derived from the use of constraints effective in the source text and the ludic elements in the act of translating. Translating a work by the OuLiPo indicates this double-edged interaction between constraint and play.

Keywords

OuLiPo, translation

How to Cite

Aru, E., (2010) “When Translating Becomes a Ludic Ativity”, Opticon1826 8.

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Elise Aru (UCL)

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