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This thesis is a literary translation of French author Agnès Desarthe’s 2015 novel Ce cœur changeant preceded by a critical translator’s introduction. The translator’s introduction includes descriptions of the original work’s author and literary context as well as the process of translation. Moreover, it contains an overview of the various challenges the translation posed. The strategies used to overcome these difficulties in the translation are also featured in this section. The translator’s note also includes a discussion of contemporary theoretical approaches to translation used in order to guide decisions made throughout the process of translating the novel.
Ce cœur changeant tells the story of the hardships of growing up, family difficulties, and perhaps most importantly, the complexity of being a mother. The novel does this by depicting Rose, the main character, and her life story from before she was even born, when her parents met in 1887, to the depictions of her and her own daughter in 1931. Most of the story takes place in Paris, as Rose tries to start a life for herself there at twenty years old, learning very quickly that life may not be as easy as she once thought. Denmark and Africa also have ever-present roles within the novel as her father is a French military officer stationed in Côte d’Ivoire and her mother is Danish. Rose, in all of her naïveté, lives a life full of very high highs and very low lows as the story reveals her many adventures. Not only is the reader brought into Rose’s personal story, but they are plunged into History itself, a universe that may seem completely unknown to us today; the Dreyfus affair, the turn of the century, World War I, the roaring twenties, bohemian life, and much more.
Advisor: Jordan Stump