Jean Barbeyrac, traducteur et homme de lettres, thèse de doctorat, University of Helsinki, Faculty of Arts, 2018
- Päivärinne, Meri (Auteur)
Jean Barbeyrac, traducteur et homme de lettres presents a micro-historical case study of an influential translator, with special reference to the concepts of visibility, agency and norms. The relations between these three sociological concepts are also analysed. The research combines sociology and history in studying the life and works of Jean Barbeyrac (1674-1744). The basic material consists of the works of this translator, who was also a university teacher and a central figure of the République des lettres. Most important are his two French translations from Latin: Samuel Pufendorf’s Droit de la nature et des gens (1706) and Hugo Grotius’ Droit de la guerre et de la paix (1725), together with other published writings by him and critiques of his translations. An important source alongside the published works is the translator’s correspondence, which has been collected for this study from different archives and transcribed from manuscripts. The correspondence has been published as part of the University of Lausanne project “lumières.lausanne” (see http://lumieres.unil.ch). The corpus gives a comprehensive picture of both the professional profile of the translator and his personal life, his career and the various connections he maintained in his international network.
The research extends the material basis for translation history studies in that the translated works are academic non-fiction forming the theoretical basis of modern international law. It can be seen that, in the case of these works, this is a matter of intracultural translation, since the original Latin works were mainly aimed at the same scholarly audience as the translations themselves, so the intercultural dimension often highlighted in translation studies is not so relevant in this case. The study emphasizes the role of paratexts as a source of sociological and historical knowledge; both the prefaces and footnotes of the works (peritexts), as well as paratexts outside the translations (epitexts) such as criticism and correspondence, are essential.
One of the conclusions of this study is that, in the case of Barbeyrac, it was not the translation strategy that was a decisive factor in his high visibility, but rather the rich use of paratexts. This visibility was partly created by reforming the paratextual practices of academic writing, in this case via unusually strong agency and partial norm-breaking. As for the norms of translation, one of the results of the research is that, in the early modern times in Barbeyrac’s most important cultural field, the République des Lettres, there was a relatively broad spectrum of different accepted ways of translating academic writings. Translation was seen as a worthwhile act to make knowledge and literature available to wider audiences. The commentary translation, represented in the way Barbeyrac used his own voice as part of his works (in prefaces, notes), as well as his extensive agency in various roles in his field, brought him a great deal of visibility and appreciation as a translator.
- Droit et justice
- Droit naturel
- Droit et justice
- Barbeyrac, Jean (1674 - 1744)
- Pufendorf, Samuel von (1632-1694)