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V. 14 (2021): Oltre il “post-”. L’esperienza (post-)sovietica sotto la lente (post-)coloniale

On the Banality of Translation: Danilo Kiš and the “Exercices de style”



The present study aims at analyzing some peculiar linguistic aspects of the Serbo-Croatian translation of Raymond Queneau’s Exercices de style, which was completed by Danilo Kiš and first published by the Belgrade-based publishing house Nolit in 1964. Kiš’s version of Queneau’s Exercices de style, which has received little attention from critics and may well seem a marginal episode in the author’s prolific career as a translator, does actually reflect Kiš’s own fascination with the key concepts of literary form, variation and deconstruction which permeate most of his prosaic work (most notably, his ‘family circus’ trilogy and The Encyclopedia of the Dead among others). Interestingly, Kiš’s strict formal adherence to the original text gives rise to an array of complex translatological issues, dealing primarily (although not exclusively) with the allegedly equivalent rendition of the tempo-aspectual relationships between the source and the target language.