Retranslating and Repackaging a Literary Masterpiece from a Peripheral Language: The Functions of Paratexts in Recontextualizing Literary Translations

  • Şule Demirkol Ertürk
Part of the New Frontiers in Translation Studies book series (NFTS)


This chapter examines the editing, circulation, and reception processes of two English translations of an influential twentieth century Turkish novel with special attention to the ways in which the work was presented to the English-speaking audiences. The case study centers on Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar’s masterpiece titled Saatleri Ayarlama Enstitüsü, translated twice into English as The Time Regulation Institute. It analyses the dissimilarities between the receptions of these two versions with special focus on the determining role of agents, especially the publishers, translators, critics, and reviewers in the process of legitimating translated works, together with the unequal distribution of “symbolic capital” among these agents. Examining paratextual elements together with reader responses published in online media, the chapter explores (i) the different editorial approaches of large publishing houses and small publishers specializing in translations from peripheral languages and (ii) the functions of paratexts in recontextualizing and legitimating literary products. It is argued that the retranslation of Tanpınar’s work was published with the motive of achieving canonicity though the inscription of a new interpretation, and that the retranslation and its paratexts were shaped under the influence of Orhan Pamuk’s writings about Tanpınar which also reflected the recent images of Turkey. The chapter also points to the importance of reader responses and blog posts shared on the Internet as sources offering new interpretations beyond the confines of the frame set by paratext writers, exploring the book from a variety of perspectives.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Şule Demirkol Ertürk
    • 1
  1. 1.Boğaziçi UniversityIstanbulTurkey

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