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Translating the musical Les Misérables : a polysystemic approach

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Translating the musical Les Misérables : a polysystemic approach

McKelvey, Myles (2001) Translating the musical Les Misérables : a polysystemic approach. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The Polysystem theory can be defined as a general model for understanding, analyzing and describing the functioning and evolution of literary systems, of which translation is one part. Developed by Itamar Even-Zohar and Gideon Toury, the Polysystem's most important contribution to Translation Studies is that it has generated a methodology. This thesis uses the Polysystem theory as an heuristic tool to analyze and describe the translations of Les Misérables (the novel) and Les Miz (the musical). Chapter 1 offers an overview of the Polysystem theory. Chapter Two discusses the socio-historical and literary context of the novel Les Misérables , as well as its critical reception. Chapter 3 compares five excerpts from two English translations of the novel, one from the 19 th century, the other from the 20 th century. Chapter 4 is primarily concerned with the theoretical difficulties involved in translating lyrics. Chapter 5 analyzes four song translations from the musical Les Miz by applying one of the concepts outlined in Chapter 4: rhythmic constraints. Chapter 6 first offers a brief history of the musical, and then discusses the place of Les Miz within the "musical Polysystem." The second half of Chapter 6 reveals how and why Les Miz was adapted to its target audience. Finally, Chapter 7 addresses two important theoretical implications: (i) the notion of adaptation; and (ii) "universal" translation norms. The thesis concludes with a critique of Toury's theory, but also outlines the positive contributions he has made to Translation Studies.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Études françaises
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:McKelvey, Myles
Pagination:vi, 91 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (M.A.)
Program:Études françaises
Date:2001
Thesis Supervisor(s):Gouanvic, Jean-Marc
ID Code:1340
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:18
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:20
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