We cordially invite you to participate in the compilation and publication of the next, eighth volume of “Translations of Slavic Literature,” titled Accompaniment of Paratext Versus Translation and Its Reception. This time, we are looking forward to receiving your articles not later than on Dec. 15th, 2016.
Paratexts are elements functioning around the main text; in Genette’s classification, they include, inter alia: titles, prefaces, epilogues, introductions, notes from the publisher, illustrations, inserts or blow-in cards, blurbs and notes on dust jackets, etc. Other researchers define paratext within a wider compositional or publishing frame. Some of them do not question its belonging to the category of literary works, while others treat them as independent elements surrounding a literary text. Regardless of their definition, paratexts gain a peculiar status in translation, becoming an additional form of mediation between the author and the primary text on the one hand, and secondary recipients and their cultural universe on the other. This is extremely important because the main text is to function in a new circulation, a new cultural space; it is expected to reach a new readership. Therefore, we are interested in multiple relationships between different types of paratexts in translations of Western and Southern Slavic literatures and the primary texts (especially in translations, but also in originals), and their role in relation to the secondary recipients, who after all often have some modest knowledge of the culture, history or specific social phenomena occurring in the primary text cultural sphere, referred to in the translated literature.
The issues connected with paratexts in the context of translations of Western and Southern Slavic literatures are related to both the structural aspects of this type of expression, as well as the frequency of their occurrence in translations or around them. What also seems significant is a given communicative situation: who is the addresser of a paratext, who is the addressee, the level of the addresser’s authority, and the degree of his/her responsibility for a paratext. A situation that seems to be particularly intriguing is when a translator becomes the author/ess of a paratext (especially the preface and afterword), and then how his/her role affects the functioning of translation. Another question is to what extent, within paratexts authored by translators, there appear reflections on the translation itself, translation strategy applied, or difficulties and challenges translators had to face.
Due to its functional aspect, paratext is treated – first and foremost – as an aid in the concretization of vague spots, particularly important in the secondary reception. A paratextual statement can inform about something or include interpretative guidelines, and thus give direction to the reading. It often plays a key role in enriching the secondary recipient’s foreknowledge. Paratext may also occur in an appellative / advertising function, emphasizing the illocutionary force, and becoming a certain “pact with the recipient,” through which the author / translator / editor implements a more or less conscious and deliberate strategy of influence. Paratext can thus reveal the intentions (of the primary author, translator or publisher) related to the functioning of the text in the secondary circulation. In extreme cases, it becomes a tool in the service of propaganda.
Certainly, paratext cannot exist without a text, to which it refers, and which constitutes its raison d’être, but still – is the preface / afterword / introduction necessary in translation? Or the other way round – do certain types of paratexts prove to be superfluous or undesirable in translation, and why?
What types of literary texts especially generate the need for a foreword / afterword? One of the types of paratexts, which do not boast a particular prestige in literary translations, is footnotes – do they constitute a reading aid and are they an expression of a translator’s erudition, or should they rather be considered a curse and treated as an obstacle to the ease of reading?
Paratext in translation can and should be examined from the perspective of reception, treating the reviews, comments, polemics, and interviews related to a given translation as one type of paratexts (called “epitext” in Genette’s nomenclature). That is why we are also interested in the subject of paratextuality in the context of how translations of Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Macedonian, Serbian, Slovak, and Slovenian literatures are received in Poland, and of Polish literature in the Western and Southern Slavic cultures.
Counting on your interest in the aforementioned issues, we are inviting you to submit your proposals for the volume along with the title of the proposed article to firstname.lastname@example.org by October 30th, 2016, and to submit full texts (approx. 15 pages of computer printout with an abstract in English and a summary with keywords in the Slavic language which your article treats about, as well as in English and in Polish) to email@example.com by December 15th, 2016.
The volume is intended to be published in 2017 by The University of Silesia Press (Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego).
Further specifications regarding the text (size, form, footnotes, etc.) are available on our journal website www.pls.us.edu.pl in the “For Authors” tab.
Currently, the journal has been assigned 10 points on the list of scientific journals indexed in the Journal Citation Reports database (IF) by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education.
Monika Gawlak, PhD
Professor Bożena Tokarz