From Periphery to Center: Swedish Literature on the French Book Market
The purpose of my project is to describe the transmission of literature (fiction) from a small language area (the ”vernacular” or the ”periphery”, in this case: Sweden) to a larger one (the ”cosmopolitan” or the ”centre”, in this case: France). This transmission (and translation) of literature is to be seen as the meeting of two literary systems. To describe the logic behind the acts of communication, important nodes, places and actors (translators, publishers, book fairs, state officials etcetera) will be identified and described.
In the research programme as a whole, this study’s contribution is the systematic understanding of the material conditions of ”vernacular” literatures (and literary systems) in relation to ”cosmopolitan” ones. More generally, the focus on literary markets and mediators will also contribute to the understanding of different logics (mainly material ones) behind what we call ”world literature”.
Important actors (translators, publishers, mediators) will be identified through a detailed analysis of bibliographical material. This analysis will also provide a statistical description of the transmission of literature from Sweden to the French bookmarket. Actors representing different levels in the process of transmission and translation will be chosen for in-depth interviews. As examples of the end product of this process, a small number of literary works translated to French will be chosen for close reading, focusing mainly on the adaptation of the ”vernacular” for a ”cosmopolitan” market.