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"I Translate, Therefore I Am": Names and Cultural Translation in Jhumpa Lahiri's "The Namesake"



文化翻譯的議題近年來受到不少矚目。許多學者探究其與文化交流的關聯、語言與文化之間的不均、以及譯者/作家在這樣複雜的文化生產過程中扮演的角色。誠如雪莉˙西蒙(Sherry Simon)所言,「文化全球化意謂著我們都生活在『翻譯』的世界之中」(134)。在晚近南亞離散作家的作品裡,我們可以觀察到這樣翻譯的世界-藉由跨國、全球性離散的積極介入,轉化移居地社會與國族敘述的空間,並賦予嶄新的想像。本論文擬探討鐘芭˙拉希莉《同名之人》裡南亞裔移民族群如何在美國協調其混雜的文化認同。本文援引霍爾的離散認同觀念,巴巴文化翻譯理論,以及雷琦(John Lecht)與巴特理(Gill Bottomley)文化交織等概念,來解析拉希莉小說中離散族群認同的過程。討論重點在第一代與第二代南亞跨國移民-甘里家族-如何藉由名字(命名與改名)、鄉愁、食物、儀式等方式在美國重新轉譯他們的離散認同。本文認為,拉希莉的小說對南亞裔移民文化提供了一種精細的詮解/翻譯,而非將印度性主現為異國文化商品。透過主角呆戈旦擺盪在印度傳統與美國文化之間的窘境、愛詩瑪對文化根源的鄉愁、以及莫淑蜜的全球混雜化,拉希莉揭露出移民族群在南亞離散的情境下面臨文化的可譯性與不可譯性,亟需不斷掙扎、協商與瞭解。

Parallel abstracts

Cultural translation has won substantial attention in recent years when many scholars have discussed its relation to culture exchange, inequity between languages/cultures, and what role a translator/writer may play in this complicated process of cultural production. As Sherry Simon puts it, ”the globalization of culture means that we all live in ‘translated’ worlds” (Gender in Translation 134). In the work of South Asian diasporic writers, we can perceive such a translated world wherein the space of the host society and national narratives are transformed and re-imagined by the creative intervention of transnational, global diasporas.This paper attempts to investigate the negotiation of hybrid cultural identities by South Asian immigrants in Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake (2003). In my research, Stuart Hall’s assertion of diasporic identity, Homi Bhabha’s theory of cultural translation as well as John Lechet and Gill Bottomley’s concept of ”cultural interweaving” will be applied to explore the identity-making process of immigrant groups in Lahiri’s novel. The main focus is on the way Ganguli family-the first and second generation immigrants in the U.S.-retranslates their diasporic identities through names (naming and re-naming), ”homing desire,” foods and festivals. Rather than presenting an exotic commodification of Indianness, my study argues that Lahiri’s text offers an intricate interpretation/translation of South Asian immigrant cultures. Through Gogol’s straddling between Indian heritages and American cultures, Ashima’s nostalgia for her cultural roots, and Moushumi’s global hybridization, Lahiri brings to the forefront the ”translatability” as well as ”untranslatability” of cultures facing the immigrant group, which requires an ongoing struggle, negotiation and understanding in the context of South Asian diaspora.


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