Universitat Rovira i Virgili

Meritxell Serrano

Meritxell Serrano holds a BA in Spanish Philology from Universidad de Costa Rica, an MA in Translation from Kent State University, and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Texas at El Paso. She has published two books of poetry, as well as other work in journals and anthologies, and is a part-time freelance translator who works primarily from English into Spanish. She currently holds a teaching and research position at Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica, and her research interests include writing, literary translation, and translation history.

The Textual Unconscious: A Psychoanalytical Approach to Translatorial Variations in the Spanish Translations of Five Essays by Paul de Man

Supervisor: Anthony Pym

Research summary

This study examines a possible link between psychoanalysis and translation in an attempt to account for the textual unconscious in translational communication. Using translation universals as the backdrop, this study explores lexicogrammatical and pragmatical features of English academic prose in Spanish translation that vary the semantic and formal dimensions of the source text, and introduce an unconscious component in the target text that cannot be accounted for by translation universals. The analysis will be based on the Spanish translations of five essays by Paul de Man, published in Puerto Rico and Spain between 1991 and 1998. Our study will focus on modality markers, lexical choices and slips of the pen introduced in the Spanish texts that deviate from expected translatorial behavior. The method of data collection to be used is the comparative analysis between published source and target texts, and between target texts. The results are expected to be beneficial for our understanding of the affective and unconscious dynamics involved in the translator's work, and the interdependence between the translator's unconscious subjectivity and translation.