Morrison's Beloved and its Two "Amadas": Postcolonial Signifying upon Translation within African-American Intertextualities

  • José Endoença Martins
Keywords: Signifyin(g), black body, translation, fluency, resistance


This article compares two different Brazilian translated versions of Toni Morrison's novel Beloved: the first published in 1994, the other in 2007, both as Amada. The analysis concentrates on the speech delivered by Baby Suggs, in which she exhorts her listeners to care for their bodies. The main idea behind this article is that Beloved and the Amadas converse or talk, thus performing signifyin(g), a concept which, in Henry Louis Gates's words, explains how intertextual conversation happens through “repetition and revision, or repetition with a signal of difference” (xxiv). Its general theoretical foundations include interconnections involving several instantiations of signifyin(g): between Black nationalism and negritude, postcolonialism and African Americanism. In its specific concern with translation, the conversation that the source keeps with the target texts involves two translation theories: fluency and resistance; two kinds of translating interventions: omission and addition; and three types of strategies: syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic. These distinct categories help readers grasp translation as a continuum by means of which a specific source text encounters its target equivalents and, then, returns to its origin. The original article is in English.


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