Volume 29, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0924-1884
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9986
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originally written in Inuktitut syllabics and published serially in 1969/70, is frequently characterized as the “first Inuit novel” ( McGrath 1984 , 81; Chartier 2011 ). It was deemed the “breakthrough” ( McNeill 1975 , 117) eagerly awaited by those whose stated goal was to save Canada’s traditional northern culture and its stories, songs, poems and legends from being swept aside by the onslaught of southern modernity. Markoosie’s text helpfully allows discussion of (post)colonial contact zones constructed in and through translational acts such as self-translation, retranslation, and relay/indirect translation as these intersect with Indigenous literature. This article explores the complex trajectory, involving various stakeholders, of the translation, circulation and reception of this important contribution to not only Inuit literature, but Canadian literature as a whole. It examines some relevant features of the author’s own translation of his text into English (1970) and traces them through the two existing French translations by Claire Martin (Markoosie, tr. Martin 1971) and Catherine Ego (Markoosie, tr. Ego 2011).


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