Contesting invisibility: Japanese celebrity translators and the impact of their fame

Akashi, Motoko (2018) Contesting invisibility: Japanese celebrity translators and the impact of their fame. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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The key questions posed in this thesis are: what factors determine when and how a translator becomes famous; and to what extent do translation strategies relate to the recognition of translators and their works.

These questions are answered through an analysis of celebrity translators in Japan. The analysis includes translators’ own agency, publishers’ marketing strategies, and readers’ and critics’ receptions of translations, in order to identify what factors create translator fame and how status influences translation practices. The study also investigates the implications of historical background in the occurrence of the translator celebrity phenomenon by examining some of Japan’s first celebrity translators. This research considers the commercial publishing context of translated fiction, rather than focusing on its literary and cultural values, as existing studies on translator visibility usually do. Furthermore, the study considers intermediaries (e.g. publishers and readers) who play a part in the production of celebrity translators. The research relies on a variety of original and secondary resources, unconventional in translation studies, including existing research on celebrity, archival materials such as printed media and biographical accounts of historical translators, and survey data on translators, publishers and readers.

The thesis concludes that translator visibility is complex, and consists of a combination of multiple factors including cultural conventions, translator agency, and the perceptions of publishers and readers of translators and their works. Therefore, prevailing mainstream notions in translation studies are insufficient to understand and discuss translator visibility fully. The novel approach employed in this research enables future studies to bring a wide range of pertinent factors to bear in the examination of translator visibility.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Literature and Creative Writing (former - to 2011)
Depositing User: Jennifer Whitaker
Date Deposited: 18 Oct 2019 12:04
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2019 12:04


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