Translating diaspora: Surinamese historical novels in Brazil

Date: 21 November, 2-4pm
Place: Vrije Universiteit Brussel,
Pleinlaan 5, 3rd floor, Vergaderzaal

With Prof. Julio Monteiro (Universidade de Brasilia)

The aim of this talk is to cast light upon a possible dialogue between the Brazilian and the Surinamese literary systems, via translation into Brazilian Portuguese from Surinamese historical novels, especially in regard to diaspora narratives. Brazil and Suriname share a common history of forced migration, and narratives depicting this fact pervade the literature of both countries. It is worth emphasizing that the Jewish community in Suriname has its origins mostly in Brazil and that the African slave trade followed roughly the same route in both countries. Since both African and Jewish diaspora are ever-present in historical novels by Surinamese authors, it can be argued that the narratives concerning those communities may catch the attention of the potential Brazilian reader who comes into contact with Surinamese literature. Issues such as the (in)visibility of Surinamese literature in Brazil and the challenges of translation between two peripheral literary systems will be tackled.