A Study of Elena Poniatowska's Amanecer en el Zócalo: The Contemporary Mexican Crónica in Translation

Title: A Study of Elena Poniatowska's Amanecer en el Zócalo: The Contemporary Mexican Crónica in Translation
Authors: Cruess, Susan Leah
Date: 2011
Abstract: This dissertation addresses the challenges of translating the Contemporary Mexican crónica from Spanish into English. The crónica, being a type of nonfiction literature and possessing unique features particularly with regards to its ability to be read like a novel, presents distinctive challenges in translation. This dissertation looks closely at the particularities of translating Elena Poniatowska’s Amanecer en el Zócalo (Mexico: Planeta, 2007), a crónica based on the 2006 federal election in Mexico and the subsequent civil resistance movement inspired by the outcome. This dissertation addresses questions surrounding the translation of the crónica: What challenges are unique in translating this genre and why? Why are there so few crónicas translated into English? What decisions can the translator make in order to resolve these particular difficulties? In order to attempt to answer these questions, I first looked into the genre of the crónica and attempted to situate it within the Mexican system of literature and culture. The result found was that, based on some recent theories of systems in culture and translation, the crónica, as a genre of literature that always seeks to address current issues in society and foster positive social development, is in itself a vehicle for social change. I then looked at other crónicas that have been translated into English and compared other translators’ decisions to the ones I made—or have yet to make—within my own translation of Poniatowska’s text. Finally, in observing the ways in which the translator of the crónica tends to alter the genre of the text in translation, I showed how the text, in English, loses some of the defining characteristics of the crónica and serves a different purpose in the target culture—it educates the reader on past (and present) social issues in other cultures, and it appeals to a different type of audience in the target culture—it attracts readers interested in studying another culture rather than readers who feel an intimate connection with the crónica’s context.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/20114
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -