The Role of the Translated Novel in the Romanian Literary System. A Quantitative Approach

Our project

Openly situated under the guidelines of recent disciplines like Translation Studies and World Literature Studies, the project aims at exploring the development of the Romanian novel through the lens of translation. The project employs the experimental methodology of Quantitative Studies (distant reading, macroanalysis, digital analysis) in the first systemic attempt to prove their functionality on Romanian literature. Its premises openly dismiss organicist literary histories that have long ignored the importance of the system of translations for the dynamics of national literary spaces, as well as comparative approaches that reduce the interaction between cultures to a limited number of privileged cases. Our project puts forward a systemic approach to the Romanian novel, starting from the assumption that, rather than playing a secondary role in the growing of national cultures, translations have been a major source of revolution in the literary field. Using quantitative methods derived from Franco Moretti’s “distant reading” to instrument important literary data bases recently made available in Romania, the project examines the impact of translations on the Romanian novel in various historical contexts: the investigation of the selection principles behind the translation of novels; the affinities with certain literary cultures; the functions of translations within the literary system(innovatory/conservative; didactic/informative/ aesthetic/political); the contribution of translations to new themes and techniques of the novel; the proliferation of certain genres/subgenres in translation; the resistance of the Romanian literary system to certain forms or genres. Our project looks at translation as a crucial mechanism of global culture and pleads for a translational model of investigating national cultures.


Funded by UEFISCDI Romania

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