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2256 - Canadian Writing in Latin America: Weighing in the ¿American¿ Factor

This paper comes out of a current research project that examines the translation and importation of Canadian writing into Latin America over the past 35 years. It looks at the notion of "American-ness" and/or « américanité » of the English and French source texts as a major force in their selection and transfer into Spanish and Portuguese, by examining among other things what makes up this "American" aspect of the source texts and how this plays into the choices made by the publishing houses - in Spain, Portugal, and Latin American countries - that translate and disseminate these works. The paper will also examine the different techniques – including cover illustrations, images, cover texts and reviews – used to promote this particular aspect of the texts in selling them to Latin American readers (perhaps resulting in the perception of shared though different “American-ness”). It also recognizes that Canada’s efforts at cultural diplomacy play a significant role into its translation politics – via grants, funding for Canadian studies, and support for the export of books, etc.

Some of the questions our paper will seek to raise and address thus include:

- Does Canada’s cultural diplomacy, currently very focused on Latin America, exploit a perception of a shared “American connection” in literature to promote itself through translation and translation/book funding?

- Do Latin American critics, first in the line of Latin American readers, see Canadian literature that arrives in translation as part of an “American” connection?

- Is it the Canadian-ness or some intrinsic and broader quality of American-ness proper to these Canadian authors and their translated works that is first and foremost "showcased" in Latin America?

- What are the main features of this possible shared heritage? How are they revealed/treated in the translated works?

Keywords: Translation, Canadian writing, American-ness/américanité

Author: Charron, Marc (University of Ottawa, Canada / Kanada)
Co-Author: Luise von Flotow (University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada / Kanada)

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