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Migrating Texts - Circulating Translations Around the Ottoman Mediterranean

English · Paperback / Softback

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Explores translation in the context of the late Ottoman Mediterranean world

Fénelon, Offenbach and the Iliad in Arabic, Robinson Crusoe in Turkish, the Bible in Greek-alphabet Turkish, excoriated French novels circulating through the Ottoman Empire in Greek, Arabic and Turkish - literary translation at the eastern end of the Mediterranean offered worldly vistas and new, hybrid genres to emerging literate audiences in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Whether to propagate 'national' language reform, circulate the Bible, help audiences understand European opera, argue for girls' education, institute pan-Islamic conversations, introduce political concepts, share the Persian Gulistan with Anglophone readers in Bengal, or provide racy fiction to schooled adolescents in Cairo and Istanbul, translation was an essential tool. But as these essays show, translators were inventors. And their efforts might yield surprising results.

Key features
¿ A substantial introduction provides in-depth context to the essays that follow
¿ Nine detailed case studies of translation between and among European and Middle-Eastern languages and between genres
¿Examines translation movement from Europe to the Ottoman region, and within the latter
¿ Looks at how concepts of 'translation', 'adaptation', 'arabisation', 'authorship' and 'untranslatability' were understood by writers (including translators) and audiences
¿ Challenges views of translation and text dissemination that centre 'the West' as privileged source of knowledge

Marilyn Booth is Khalid bin Abdullah Al Saud Professor in the Study of the Contemporary Arab World at the University of Oxford. She is author and editor of several books including Classes of Ladies of Cloistered Spaces: Writing Feminist History through Biography in Fin-de-siècle Egypt (Edinburgh University Press, 2015).

List of contents

List of charts and maps; Note on Translation and Transliteration; Acknowledgments; Introduction: Translation as Lateral Cosmopolitanism in the Ottoman Universe, Marilyn Booth; I. Translation, Territory, Community; 1. What was (really) translated in the Ottoman Empire? Sleuthing Nineteenth-Century Ottoman Translated Literature, Johann Strauss; 2. Translation and the Globalisation of the Novel: Relevance and Limits of a Diffusionist Model, Peter Hill; 3. On Eastern Cultures: Trans-Regionalism and Multilingualism in Iraq, 1910-38, Orit Bashkin; II. Translation and/as Fiction; 4. Gender and Diaspora in Late Ottoman Egypt: The Case of Greek Women Translators, Titika Dimitroulia and Alexander Kazamias; 5. Haunting Ottoman Middle-Class Sensibility: Ahmet Midhat Efendi's Gothic, A. Holly Shissler; III. 'Classical' interventions, 'European' inflections: Translation as/and Adaptation; 5. Lords or Idols? Translating the Greek Gods into Arabic in Nineteenth-Century Egypt, Raphael Cormack; 6. Translating World Literature into Arabic and Arabic Into World Literature: Sulayman al-Bustani's al-Ilyadha and Ruhi al-Khalidi's Arabic Rendition of Victor Hugo, Yaseen Noorani; 7. Girlhood Translated? Fénelon's Traité de l'éducation des filles (1687) as a Text of Egyptian Modernity (1901, 1909), Marilyn Booth; 8. Gulistan: Sublimity and the Colonial Credo of Translatability, Kamran Rastegar; Bibliography; Contributors; Index.

About the author

Marilyn Booth is Khalid bin Abdullah Al Saud Professor of the Study of the Contemporary Arab World, University of Oxford. She has published monographs on exemplary biography in the Arabic women's press and vernacular writing in Egypt, and she is editor of Harem Histories (2011) and co-editor of The Long 1890s in Egypt (Edinburgh University Press, 2014). She is the translator of Jokha Alharthi's Celestial Bodies, winner of the 2019 Man Booker International Prize.


Provides nine detailed case studies of translation between and among European and Middle-Eastern languages and between genres.

Product details

Authors Marilyn Booth, BOOTH MARILYN
Assisted by Marilyn Booth (Editor)
Publisher Edinburgh University Press
Languages English
Product format Paperback / Softback
Released 31.12.2018
EAN 9781474439008
ISBN 978-1-4744-3900-8
No. of pages 368
Series Edinburgh Studies on the Ottoman Empire
Edinburgh Studies on the Ottom
Subjects Humanities, art, music > Linguistics and literary studies > General and comparative literary studies
Non-fiction book > History > Miscellaneous

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