Exploring the translation of feminist philosophy : Simone de Beauvoir’s Le Deuxième Sexe

Bichet, Marlene 2016, Exploring the translation of feminist philosophy : Simone de Beauvoir’s Le Deuxième Sexe , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

Download (2MB) | Preview


The thesis explores the second English translation of Simone de Beauvoir’s Le Deuxième Sexe, with the objective to contribute to bridging the gap between Gender Studies and Translation Studies. My contention is that foreignization, often presented in the literature as a more ethical approach to translation (see Venuti for instance), is not necessarily the most adequate translation strategy to render texts of feminist philosophy. Therefore, the main research question which the thesis investigates is the extent to which translation can help or otherwise impede on the reception of feminist philosophy. The study is specifically based on the case study of Simone de Beauvoir’s Le Deuxième Sexe, which was first translated into English in 1953, then retranslated in 2009. De Beauvoir’s magnum opus is a model of feminist philosophy and widely influenced the field, so that having an accurate English translation of her work is critical. The case study analyses the translation of some key features of the text, such as core Existential terminology, along with gender-related terms, as well as the treatment of intertextuality in the latest English translation. It also describes the overall translators’ project as presented through paratext, arguing that a domestication approach can be a beneficial approach to translate feminist philosophy. Chapter One will present introductory background information on Simone de Beauvoir’s work in Le Deuxième Sexe, namely the main ideas developed in the book, as well as an overview of the story of the first English translation, and its reception. Dealing with reception will lead us to question the notion of reception in Literary Studies and Translation Studies and the central role of the translator in Chapter Two, which will be narrowed down to faithfulness, a prevalent if somewhat contested notion in translation criticism, in Chapter Three. Chapter Four will examine the latest English translation, before sketching the frameworks of Contrastive Linguistics and Intertextuality in Chapter Five. Finally, Chapter Six will concentrate on the data analysis through a systematic comparison of relevant categories. This chapter findings will lead us to put forward comments and proposed strategies to deal with feminist and philosophical translation.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Schools: Schools > School of Humanities, Languages & Social Sciences
Depositing User: USIR Admin
Date Deposited: 05 Jun 2017 08:09
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 14:18
URI: https://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/40993

Actions (login required)

Edit record (repository staff only) Edit record (repository staff only)