Features of Discourse Presentation in Translation: Literary and Narratological Insights into Translation Universals


  • Päivi Kuusi University of Eastern Finland




Discourse mediation, Discourse Presentation, Translation Universals, Standardization, Explicitation, Normalization, Typification, Naturalization, Free Indirect Discourse, Direct Discourse


Several translation scholars have recognised translation as a form of
discourse mediation or discourse presentation (see, for example, Mossop 1998). In line with this, ‘universals’ of translation have also been re-framed in the larger context of discourse mediation, as mediation universals rather than something strictly translationspecific (Ulrych 2009). In the present article, this line of enquiry is developed by comparing some of the alleged universals of translation, namely standardization and explicitation, with insights from literary and narratological studies on the nature of discourse presentation. The notion of reportive or interpretative interference (Sternberg 1982) and Fludernik’s (1993) claim that all represented discourse is typical and schematic in nature seem to bear curious resemblance to the notion of standardization or normalization, posited as a possible universal of translation (Mauranen & Kujamäki 2004). Drawing on the results of my earlier research (Kuusi 2011), I present examples of free indirect discourse (FID) used in Dostoevsky’s novel Crime and Punishment with their translations into Finnish. Analyzing the translations, I demonstrate how in
translations, the narratological and literary-theoretical notions of reportive interference and typification/schematization coincide with the translation-theoretical notions of explicitation and standardization.