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"The One About Coyote Going West." A Translation of a Short Story by Thomas King

Útgáfa
Febrúar 2012
Útdráttur
en

The main task of this assignment was the translation of a short story by the Canadian writer Thomas King. The story is called “The One About Coyote Going West” and is found in King’s collection of short stories One Good Story, that One. Because the main character, Coyote, in King’s short story is a culture-specific figure of Native American myth and not commonly known in Icelandic culture, some context for the character is needed.
In order for the reader to fully understand and enjoy the translation of King’s short story, some background knowledge is vital. A brief introduction to the life and works of Thomas King is the first chapter of the essay. Getting to know the author and his works is important for a richer understanding of the translation itself, because King tends to use Coyote as a spokesperson for Aboriginal rights and as the embodiment of the preservation of Native culture. What follows is a brief introduction of Native American myth, with an emphasis on the importance of oral storytelling and the figure of Coyote within this mythology. This is also an important chapter because King strives to capture the qualities of Native oral literature. In order to accommodate a closer understanding of Coyote as a trickster figure there is a comparison of him/her and Loki in Germanic mythology, Loki being a commonly known figure within Icelandic culture. This contextualization of King’s story concludes with a brief commentary on problems encountered during my translation of it into Icelandic.

Birting
23.1.2012


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