The impact of assumed translation and the quest for a lost original

On the history of the key text the Jamaica Letter by Simón Bolívar

Authors

  • Stefanie Kremmel University of Vienna, Austria

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.4312/stridon.1.1.79-102

Keywords:

translation history, key text, assumed translation, back-translation, Simón Bolívar

Abstract

The Carta de Jamaica (1815) is considered one of the most important testimonies of the South American liberator Simón Bolívar. When the manuscript vanished, historians were left with an English translation and assumed back-translations into Spanish, which heavily impacted the (Spanish) publication history for almost two centuries. This study of the versions of the Carta de Jamaica and the discourse surrounding the search for the original is carried out by applying Jan Assman’s text production process model. Assman’s model helps identify and understand the motives guiding translation endeavors and the different functions of these versions, which makes it a valuable tool for translation-historical research on key political, cultural, or religious texts. This paper also shows how paradoxical the usage and conception of translation is: it is conceived as a problem, used as a tool of analysis, and finally becomes the solution because through translation the version “closest” to the lost original is created.

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References

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Published

30.06.2021 — Updated on 07.07.2021

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How to Cite

Kremmel, S. (2021). The impact of assumed translation and the quest for a lost original: On the history of the key text the Jamaica Letter by Simón Bolívar. STRIDON: Studies in Translation and Interpreting, 1(1), 79–102. https://doi.org/10.4312/stridon.1.1.79-102 (Original work published June 30, 2021)

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