A Translation Analysis of Sinan Antoon's Language in his Novel (The Corpse Washer, 2013): A Socio-Cultural and Ideological Construction
أبو الرُّب, إبراهيم عوني إبراهيم
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The US invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the "War on Terror" after September 11 attacks have further reinforced the Orientalist myths and fantasies of and about the Orient that chiefly aimed to create a lascivious and violent East. As a response, a number of Arab intellectuals have utilized translation to intervene and write back into the metropolitan language, English, as they were aware of its role in establishing ‘a cultural turn’. This thesis addresses the question of how The Corpse Washer (2013) by Sinan Antoon employs the translation of sexually explicit language to participate in constructing a resistant cultural identity. It also explores the kinds of intervention Antoon exerts in the hegemonic Anglo-American discourse of Arab sexuality through translating his own novel. This thesis is a qualitative study which utilizes the tools of descriptive and interpretive approaches. Therefore, the integrated translation theory of Lefevere’s rewriting, Said’s postcolonial theory of voyage-in and Bhabha’s cultural theory of hybridity are deemed relevant approaches to the context of this work. This thesis argues that Antoon departs from dichotomous approach to translation and develops innovative methods of implementing translation strategies, such as omission, theme fronting, and new formalisms to carve out a hybrid space where he inaugurates a decolonizing cultural identity that finds itself in central narratives on Arab sexuality. In addition, it argues that translating sexually explicit language in Antoon’s novel has contributed to blurring the boundaries between East and West where the sexual becomes representative of enactive cultural resistance of the idea of death devoted by American occupation of Iraq and corrupted patriarchal values.