Defining Characters in the Fiction of Honda Tetsuya

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May 25, 2024 @ 12:00 AM

Honda Tetsuya is an award-winning writer of Japanese detective fiction. The crafting of a complex identity for each major character is a prominent feature of Honda’s novels and short stories. In this presentation the speaker will discuss the techniques Honda uses to create a unique identity for each character and the challenges those techniques present for the translator. Translating a work of fiction draws upon all the major elements of translation (e.g., word choice, grammar, sentence structure, tone). In addition, the translator may confront assumptions and categories in connection with the behavior of certain characters in specific situations. The speaker will cite examples to illustrate ways in which the translator can recreate the identity, behavior, and emotions of each character as the story told throughout the course of a novel unfolds. Attention to such details can help the translator make available to the reader of the English translation the same experience that Honda provides to the reader of the Japanese original.