Cultural Cannibalism – Translations of Anthropophagy
A century after gaining political independence from Portugal, the anthropophagic Brazilian modernist movement of the 1920s is marked by the attempt to finally construct its own linguistic and cultural identity. The modernist cannibals celebrate the act of devouring and incorporating European literature and culture, and its transformation into something genuinely “Brazilian”. This cultural cannibalism turns into a specific form of resistance against persistent European predominance in the field of cultural production. Devouring the other thus serves as an epistemological metaphor for cultural translation, for experiencing alterity. At the same time, it stands for the possibility to create something “native”. The purpose of this research project is to explore the relations between cultural cannibalism and the process of translation, as well as the aporias that derive from the cannibalistic metaphor.
Melanie P. Strasser studied Philosophy at the University of Vienna, as well as Translation at the Centre for Translation Studies at the University of Vienna, including academic exchange programmes in Portugal and in Brazil. Since 2015, she is a University Assistant and Lecturer at the Department of Romance Studies at the University of Vienna. In her doctoral research project, she analyses the relations between the anthropophagic metaphor in Brazil, and translation processes. She also translates literary texts from Portuguese into German.
„Der König von Babel: Kannibalismus und Übersetzen in Brasilien“, in: gem. mit Kathrin Sartingen (Hg.), Arena der Stimmen. Intermedialität und Intertextualität in Literatur und Film aus Lateinamerika, Lusoafrika und Portugal, Frankfurt/M. 2018; gem. mit Alice Leal, „Anthropophagy“, in: The Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation Studies, London/New York 2018; „Todo passado merece ser devorado’ – Algumas reflexões sobre a antropofagia da tradução“, in: Susana Kampff-Lages u. a. (Hg.), A tradução em movimento. Figurações do traduzir entre culturas de Língua Portuguesa e culturas de Língua Alemã (=Wiener Iberoromanistische Studien, Band 10), Frankfurt/M. 2017; „Sobre as ruínas de Babel – A construção da tradução em Borges“, in: Scientia Traductionis, n. 13, 08/2013.
Einverleiben, Verschlingen, Überleben – im brasilianischen Modernismus zelebriert der wilde Kannibale, Anthropophage, Menschenfresser das Verschlingen europäischer Kunst und Literatur, um sie in ein „Eigenes“ zu transformieren.