«pl.it / rassegna italiana di argomenti polacchi», 8, 2017, pp. 77-94

Marta Kaźmierczak

University of Warsaw / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Intertexts in a cross-section: Leśmian’s ballad and its translations

ABSTRACT. The paper surveys intertextual aspects of Bolesław Leśmian’s ballad Dziewczyna across translations into English and Russian (translation series), as well as Czech and German (single renditions). Thematic intertextuality connected with the fairy--tale convention and specific references to philosophical concepts (Descartes, Kant) are discussed. Dialogic relations absent from the original but activated in translations are also indicated (e.g. a Biblical context). The following aspects influencing the rendition of dialogic signals are considered important: metrical restrictions, the unwieldiness of the canonic formulation of intertexts for poetic appropriation, the skill and worldviews of the translators. Thanks to the numerous translations of the ballad, we can ascertain whether awareness and prioritizing of referential qualities change with time, target culture and the translators’ backgrounds.

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