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A Hybrid Art: Literary Non-fiction in the Netherlands and Non-fiction Translation Policy. A study carried out for the Dutch Foundation of Literature

By V. van Schagen


This study focusses on literary non-fiction as a literary genre and the difficulties surrounding the hybrid genre in the formulation of a clear policy for the Dutch Foundation of Literature (Fonds voor de Letteren) for translation grants. The Dutch Foundation of Literature subsidises authors and translators of literary works which are considered culturally important. The literary value of non-fiction is more difficult to assess than with fiction, and assessment procedures of subsidaries for works of non-fiction are unclear for both the fund's assessment committee as well as applicants. By comparing the different policies for (translation) grants for non-fiction at other funds in the Netherlands and Flanders, and by comparing publishing and translation decisions at several literary publishers for non-fiction specifically, the Dutch Foundation of Literature can formulate a more clear policy and provide better service to literary translators. Questionnaires were sent to twelve translators to provide insight into the difficulties surrounding the translation of non-fiction and the translators were asked to give their opinion of the policy of the Dutch Foundation of Literature. Based on the outcome of the comparison of five literary funds, interviews with non-fiction editors at several publishers and answers given by literary translators, several recommendations were made to help the Dutch Foundation of Literature formulate their non-fiction policy for translation grants more clearly

Topics: Letteren, Translation policy, Literary translators, Fonds voor de Letteren, Dutch Publishers, Non-fiction
Year: 2009
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