Translation (in/of/as) history: toward a model for historicising translation in Hispanic Filipino literature


  • Marlon James Sales KU Leuven


history of translation, Spanish Philippines, literatura hispanofilipina, Jose Rizal, Pedro Paterno, Isabelo de los Reyes


The task of researching the history of translation within the framework of a national literature overlaps with the task of interrogating the uses of translation in imagining a nation’s history. Although translation may be represented in this context as a neutral and unproblematic search for equivalence between languages, translational acts have been employed, either wittingly or unwittingly, to privilege apast and inscribe it into the accepted national narrative. Such is the role of translation in the history of Hispanic Filipino literature. In this article I argue that the endeavour of writing a translation history using Hispanic Filipino texts is called upon to examine translation in history, of history and as history, that is, how translation operates as a material, method and mode of commemoration. Translation is considered here as a fundamental component in the production and mediation of a text. It fulfils a gatekeeping function through which historical information is repatriated into the national consciousness.