Rereading and Rewriting Translations
Feminist initiatives of the 1970s triggered enormous interest in texts by women writers from other cultures. This led to the realization that much writing by women has never been translated at all, and to the suspicion that what has been translated has been misrepresented in ‘patriarchal translation’. Thus extensive translation and re-translation activity was set off, for which willing publishers were found. As H. D. Kolias puts it in her article on the translation of the autobiography of Elizavet Moutzan-Martinengou,
Convincing publishers about the worthiness of this work and the need for recovering it was easier than it might have been in previous decades. (1990:215)
The context created by the women’s movement encouraged the develop ment of women’s publishing houses (The Women’s Press in London, Éditions des femmes in Paris, Frauenoffensive in Munich, Les éditions du remueménage in Montreal) and the establishment of lists of women writers in translation at university as well as private publishing houses. This rush of translations has doubtless played some part in setting off translation criti cism and analyses, as well as research into the work of ‘forgotten’ women translators.