Dissolving boundaries: Gender and sexuality in three French transgressive erotic texts and their English-language translations
My project researches how transgression functions trans-linguistically and trans-culturally in three transgressive erotic texts representative of the French pornographic tradition: Histoire de l’œil (Bataille), Histoire d’O (Réage) and Les 120 Journées de Sodome (Sade), and their respective multiple English-language translations. I focus on constructions of gendered and sexual identities to map “continuities and divergences” (Venuti, 2005) between the original texts and their translations. Bataille wrote that eroticism dissolves boundaries. Translation can reshape our understanding of these identities; a comparative stylistic analysis illuminates the extent to which these translations maintain or subvert socio-cultural ideas relating to gender and sexuality, whilst developing a translation history of the original texts.