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On the Interpretation and the Translation of an Enigmatic Passage in Joseph Conrad's “Heart of Darkness”

By 隆 西村


ジョウゼフ・コンラッドの中篇小説「闇の奥」(1899)において,語り手マーロウがカーツという人物について発するコメントには一見矛盾があり,翻訳者を苦労させてきた。マーロウは,カーツという名前がドイツ語で「短い」を意味する語に由来すること,その名前が暗示的であること,カーツの身長が7フィート以上あったことを立て続けに述べる。この一節を日本語に直訳すると矛盾した印象を読者に与えるため,翻訳家は頭を悩ませてきた。この箇所をどう解釈し,どう訳すべきか,既存の翻訳を比較しつつ考察したい。This essay concentrates on the interpretation of a mysterious passage in Joseph Conrad's “Heart of Darkness” (1899; 1902). Marlow, the narrator-protagonist of the novella, refers to a man named Kurtz as follows: “Kurtz ― Kurtz ― it means short in German ― don't it? Well, the name was as true as everything else in his life ― and death. He looked at least seven feet long.” The middle sentence is too vague to understand. Though Kurtz's name means “short”, he is extremely tall. Then, to what extent can his name be said to be “true”? Is Marlow suggesting that the name is in fact not true at all? Those who have translated this novella into Japanese have had much trouble in translating this passage. By comparing four Japanese editions, each translated by different translators, I will discuss how this passage should be understood and translated

Topics: ジョウゼフ・コンラッド, 「闇の奥」, 翻訳・解釈, Joseph Conrad, “Heart of Darkness”, translation, interpretation
Publisher: 大阪教育大学
Year: 2010
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