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Abstract

Abstract

The genre of self-help often is nurtured – or hijacked – from highbrow literary traditions such as conduct literature and sacred texts. Translation is the mechanism whereby an ‘esotouristic’ or new-ageified text travels in ready consumability, a commercializing process that asserts forms that themselves are ideological, and dramatically shifts ‘mirrors for princes’ and works considered ‘high literature’ to works of mass marketability. The branding of yogic and Kabbalistic texts, and of authors Kahlil Gibran, Baltasar Gracián, Rumi, and Sun Tzu, is analyzed in this light. I object to the ‘timeless classic’ positioning of texts that deterritorializes, dehistoricizes, and deculturizes, and map these publications as forms of manipulation, especially exoticizing, genre shifting, radical recontextualizing, and allegorizing. The resulting hyper-acceptability of the distorted products for a self-helpified readership calls into question the translator’s complicity in appropriative, otherized cultural production.

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/content/journals/10.1075/ts.21047.was
2022-11-08
2022-12-06
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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keywords: new-age-ification ; self-help ; wisdom literature ; esotourism ; popularizations

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