Date of this Version
Schooler III, Edwin L. A Translation of Marion Guillot's C'est moi with Afterword. 2021. University of Nebraska-Lincoln. MA thesis, DigitalCommons@University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
This thesis is a literary translation of French author Marion Guillot’s 2018 novel C’est moi. The work tells the story of a journey of self-discovery gone wrong. The unnamed narrator feels as if she and Tristan, her unemployed boyfriend, are slowly drifting apart as they put up with the daily domestic drudgery of their Parisian lives. They don’t really get out anymore and they never see anyone except Tristan’s only friend, Charlin, someone who the narrator doesn’t particularly care for. One day, Tristan plans a surprise which he seems to think might save their relationship: hanging a gigantic nude photo of the narrator on the wall of their studio apartment. The narrator’s relationship with this super-sized self-representation transforms the novel into a story about perception as she explores interesting questions about how we perceive ourselves, how we think others perceive us and the differences between photos and reflections. Eventually, the narrator’s obsession with perception essentially causes her to descend into madness. After realizing that Charlin played a central role in the photograph debacle, she comes to the realization that she needs to get control of her life—this includes doing whatever it takes to get rid of what she sees as the source of all her problems: Charlin.
The translation is followed by a critical translator’s afterword. This section includes descriptions of the original work’s publisher, author and literary context. Moreover, it contains an overview of the various techniques used in translating the novel as well as the different challenges the translation posed. The strategies used to overcome these difficulties in the translation are also featured in this part. The afterword also includes an analysis of several contemporary theories by prominent individuals in the world of translation (namely David Bellos, Karen Emmerich, Mark Polizzotti and Lawrence Venuti). These different theoretical approaches are used in order to help justify the decisions made throughout the process of translating the novel.
Advisor: Jordan Stump