An Englishman in Alentejo

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When faced with a translated text, the reader must ask him/herself what it is s/he expects of a translation: is it a taste of the foreign or a confirmation of the self? The answer will, to some extent, determine how s/he evaluates the text s/he is reading.Writing in English about Portuguese matters and places, RobertWilson poses an interesting conundrumto Portuguese readers and translators alike: how does one read and, more to the point, how does one translate a text which is perhaps <i>too </i>translatable? How can a translator render the ways in which <i>his/her </i>culture is presented as seen through the eyes of a foreigner? This paper aims to shed some light on the phenomenon of “overtranslatability,” as presented in <i>A Small Death in Lisbon</i>, and its consequences for translational practices.


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