Literary text as palimpsest: translation difficulties (translation of "Night Owls" by Leskov into English and French)
The paper offers a comparative analysis of translations of Leskov's "Night Owls' into English and French. The author considers how the main characteristics of the writer's idiolect are rendered in English and French translations by Hugh McLean and Catherine Gery. A comparative study of the translation transformations and thus the degree of the equivalence of the ideological and aesthetic ideas of the author is carried out. The main ways of translating the neologisms, stylistically coloured lexemes, and dialectisms typical for Leskov's skaz are revealed. These include literal translation, the creation of neologisms by compounding and affixation, and play on words, with suffixation prevailing in the English, and constructions with the proposition de being favoured in the French. The analysis allowed finding a number of the words lost in translation mostly presented by slang, lexemes originating from dialects and argots, which were replaced by stylistically neutral equivalents. On the contrary, in the majority of cases, the translators managed to convey the neologisms coined by the writer using the principle of popular etymology. Special emphasis is placed on the reflection of the author's play on words and puns in the translations, with various language levels being involved: phonetics, morphology, lexico-semantics, syntax. Particular attention is paid to the translation of phrases containing code-switching and pseudo-borrowings. Neologisms based on phonetic analogy represent the author's satire in the original text. They are sometimes accompanied by explicative notes in the translations. The comparative analysis showed the author's puns to be more efficiently rendered in the French translation. It is due to the fact that most of the code switching and code mixing cases in the original text is based on distorted French borrowings. Also, the paper considers the translation of biblical intertextual elements and contaminated lexemes and puns vividly illustrating Leskov's palimpsestic narrative.