Réécriture Féminine as a Conceptual Convergence: A Paratextual Analysis of Emily Wilson’s Translation of The Odyssey (Homer)

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Yıldız M., Altın M.

International Congress on Academic Studies in Translation and Interpreting Studies (ICASTIS), Bolu, Turkey, 29 September - 01 October 2022, pp.33

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: Bolu
  • Country: Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.33
  • Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Affiliated: Yes


Translation is a rewriting of a source text that includes the adaptation of a literary work to a new readership to govern how the audience reads that particular work. Rewritings may be typically accompanied by paratexts, such as commentaries, historiography, introductions, and notes. They reflect a certain ideology and discourse to promote the evolution of a literature and a society and introduce new concepts, new genres, and new devices (Lefevere, 1982/2012; 2017). Then, it can be purported that rewritings are conducive to the dissemination of ideological perspectives, which is underpinned by their capacity to excite sociocultural changes. Écriture féminine (woman’s writing) is in the pursuit of such a change, “to liberate the New Woman from the Old” with women writing for women, which Hélène Cixous believes will emancipate women in literature from the dominant phallocentric conceptualization through “the invention of a new insurgent writing” (Cixous, 1976). In this sense, Cixous’ revolutionary intent in écriture féminine resonates with Lefevere’s socioculturally innovative theory of translation as rewriting. Drawing on this approximation, the authors conceptualize réécriture féminine (woman’s rewriting) as a translational phenomenon by comparatively analyzing the paratexts on the translation of The Odyssey (2017) by Emily Wilson, acclaimed as the first woman to translate this classic into English from a more gender-sensitive viewpoint to replace the allegedly misogynistic/masculine stance of previous translators.