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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'Traduttore Traditore'? Alexis Kagame's Transposition of Kinyarwanda Poetry into French
Author:Nzabatsinda, Anthere
Periodical:Journal of African Cultural Studies
Geographic term:Rwanda
Subjects:oral literature
Literature, Mass Media and the Press
About person:Alexis Kagame (1912-)ISNI
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/13696819908717850
Abstract:The literary work of Alexis Kagame (1912-1981) in Kinyarwanda, the language of his country, Rwanda, includes poetry that he claimed to have conceived by his own imagination and texts collected from oral sources and transposed into the written form. In the process of transcription, the stories collected passed through some transformations and linguistic adaptations. Kagame translated some of his works into French, thus adding other transformations to the original literary forms, images, aesthetics, rhythms, ethno-historical representations, and language. On the basis of Kagame's translations, this article discusses the possibilities, impossibilities, and limits of translation, arguing that although self-translation may be a solution to the problems alluded to in the Italian phrase 'traduttore traditore', some literary genres will remain difficult to translate. Kagame was well aware of the difficulties involved in transposing his poetry from Kinyarwanda into French. His poetical practice was motivated by his nationalist project to represent Rwanda as one 'Nation' consolidated by politico-historical, ethnological, philosophical, religious, linguistic and literary elements. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum.