Language and Literature
Korean literature in the French language is represented by 247 published works. Still today, the selection of works for translation largely depends on the translators, as decision-makers. Whilst Korean literature is gaining a certain visibility in the literary world, we cannot but concede its incoherencies when it comes to translated authors, translations, word choices, and marketing policies. This situation has consequences on the way French readers access to Korean texts and the way the imaginary map of Korean literature is drawn.
Thus, the question: what do we read through Korean novels, more specifically humorous novels, in translation? Laughing, by its interdependence on a cultural and social context, is the opportunity to shed light upon how a network of references between the author, narrator and reader can be reconfigured through translation, inducing the latter to smile.
Kim Ae-ran is one of the most well-known and most translated contemporary Korean authors in France. My aim here is to show how, through the text and paratext, the oeuvre’s image is built for the Korean and French publics, and how it influences the possibilities to interpret the humorous discourse. With this in mind, my communication will examine three short novels: “Cours papa, cours ! ”, (“Tallyŏra, abi ! ”, 2005, translated in 2008 and 2012), “Comment se passe ton été ? ” (“Nŏ-ŭi yŏrŭm-ŭn ŏttŏni? ”, 2012, translated in 2015), “Ma vie dans la Superette” (“P'yŏnŭijŏm-e kanda”, 2005, translated in 2013).