Document Type

Thesis

Date of Degree

Fall 2014

Degree Name

MFA (Master of Fine Arts)

Degree In

Comparative Literature-Translation

First Advisor

Maureen Robertson

Abstract

Ananda Devi [1957 - ], a French-language author and poet from Mauritius, adds depth to the lyricism already inherent in her writing by drawing upon that country's multicultural heritage, which includes African, Hindu, and French, and its Creole language. Le Long Désir (2003) defies genre, being neither strictly poetry nor prose, and presents more a collection of prose poems than a structured story with a tangible plot. The poetic aspect of her text, accomplished through this Creole as well as experimentation with grammatical structures and the display of the text on the page, inclines me as a translator to prioritize the lyricism of her text over its content, though cer-tainly I have endeavored to bring both into my English translation of selected sections of the book. Its unifying theme of the struggle of women with violence, anguish and self-definition is brought to the fore by running motifs of animalistic behavior, putrefaction, and darkness, which are accompanied by equally vivid instances of fragility and beauty, signaling the plurality of the situation of women. The challenges of translating the Creole, of preserving her imagery's fresh-ness as well as the content's poignancy, and other myriad deliberations make the labor of produc-ing The Long Desire, the English translation, that much more rewarding; for it is well worth bringing a glimpse of life as a Mauritienne to an English-speaking audience, if not for the noble purpose of increasing our awareness of the world, then at least to taste the enchanting complexity of the text itself.

Public Abstract

Ananda Devi [1957 – ], a French-language author and poet from Mauritius, adds depth to the lyricism already inherent in her writing by drawing upon that country’s multicultural heritage, which includes African, Hindu, and French, and its Creole language. Le long désir (2003) defies genre, being neither strictly poetry nor prose, and presents more a collection of prose poems than a structured story with a tangible plot. The poetic aspect of her text, accomplished through this Creole as well as experimentation with grammatical structures and the display of the text on the page, inclines me as a translator to prioritize the lyricism of her text over its content, though certainly I have endeavored to bring both into my English translation of selected sections of the book. Its unifying theme of the struggle of women with violence, anguish and self-definition is brought to the fore by running motifs of animalistic behavior, putrefaction, and darkness, which are accompanied by equally vivid instances of fragility and beauty, signaling the plurality of the situation of women. The challenges of translating the Creole, of preserving her imagery’s freshness as well as the content’s poignancy, and other myriad deliberations make the labor of producing The Long Desire, the English translation, that much more rewarding; for it is well worth bringing a glimpse of life as a Mauritienne to an English-speaking audience, if not for the noble purpose of increasing our awareness of the world, then at least to taste the enchanting complexity of the text itself.

Keywords

publicabstract, Ananda Devi, Le long désir, Translation

Pages

v, 108 pages

Bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (page 34).

Copyright

Copyright 2014 Rachel Joan Wysocki

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