KOLINSKÁ, Klára a kol. Translating Other Literatures in English into Czech

1st ed. Prague: Metropolitan University Prague Press, 2016. ISBN 978-80-87956-52-6

This book set itself a complex and formidable task: to map the tradition and practice of translating the so-called “other literatures in English” into Czech, that is, to follow the history and current state of the linguistic and cultural transfer from one of the most powerful languages in the world and the most essential communication highway of today, into a minor/minority cultural area, as such insignificant, but, by a set of historical, political, as well as geographical circumstances, finding itself at the crossroads of a variety of powerful forces and influences. More specifically, from the boundless treasury of contemporary literary output in English it focuses on that produced by authors representing various ethnic, cultural and geographical minorities – for which modern literary scholarship established the term “other literatures in English”.

Rather than attempting at providing a strict, conclusive definition of the content of the notion of “other literatures in English” our ambition was to offer an inclusive, multi-perspective map of its territory/ies, and to invite the readers to the adventure of challenging its borders and considering its implications for contemporary literary creation and consumption. With this in mind, two general perspectives are discernible in the structure of the monograph and the individual chapters: to characterize some of the “central”, influential cultural areas falling, by different merits, under the heading “other literatures in English” – the areas which have been given particular attention include Australian, Canadian, and Irish writing in English, as well as literary production in English coming from the Indian subcontinent, sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean archipelago – and to discuss their potential of cultural and linguistic transferability; that is, to delineate the history and contemporary practice of translating their individual works into the Czech language, thus transposing them into a very different (or, perhaps, not so different) cultural context. For this reason, it is the hope of the editors that the monograph might be useful and of interest to scholars, students and practitioners representing different literary and cultural fields, including, but not limited to literary history and theory, postcolonial theory, cultural studies of the Anglophone world, translation studies, linguistics, migration studies and border studies. The chapters dedicated to outlining the individual “other” English language areas offer qualified, elaborated insight into their complexities, distinctive characteris-tics and attractions, and at the same time provide the potential readers with meaningful, easy-to-pass bridges connecting them to their own historical and cultural experience.