This article examines the representation of sacred spaces in the novels of four authors from southern Africa and their translations. It critically considers the representation of sacred spaces and the marginalisation of some areas of Africa. The selected passages feature common themes, such as the dispossession of the soil. A convenient distinction between sacred spaces is made in this article through categorising these spaces as apotropaic, chthonic, mystic, and messianic, and theological and epiphanic. Translations into the Romance languages of predominantly Catholic countries show evidence of textual divergence in the cohesion of symbols, lexico-semantic shifts, and cultural domestication. Whether this is imputed to ideological barriers and sociocultural filters is a matter for further investigation. Ultimately, the challenging issue is whether there is still space for the sacred in world literature.

Theology and Topophilia in Sacred Spaces: John Bradburne’s Way of the Water

John Bradburne’s (1921–1979) poetics of sacred space and sacred waters highlights a geo-specific correlation between theology and topophilia. There is a world of water enclosed within the sacred woods and mountains, rocks, grottoes, and caves where this lay Franciscan servant of God prayed and had his ecstatic visions. The topophilia and cosmology of the Canticle of the Creatures of Saint Francis underlie Bradburne’s poetic inspiration, as waters flow in profusion from fountains, lakes, rivers, wells, and pools. The scope of the present research is to chart Bradburne’s Franciscan and Marian devotion and the dynamics determining the sacralisation of spaces and lustral waters. Thus, the action of Bradburne bathing patients in the Mutemwa leper colony near Mutoko, together with the pool of water on Mount Chigona where Bradburne bathed, contextualised a space of purification, contemplation, and harmony, while the civil war raged around Mashonaland in Zimbabwe. The element of water seems to map out Bradburne’s mystic life, from his birthplace near the Lake District and Devon to Lourdes and Assisi, to India, the waters of Galilee, and the Libyan oasis—and, eventually, to the pool on Mount Chigona. Since Bradburne’s death, the Mount has become a site of pilgrimage and devotion.

This book is the first monograph combining comparative literature, fashion, and translation studies in their interactional roles. The integrated approach provides an innovative blended approach to comparative literature studies benefiting from the growing fields of fashion and translation.
Within the descriptive frame of fashion concepts and themes, the research furthers the analysis of multiple translations (English and Romance languages) to costume design in film adaptations, from page to screen.

The eight chapters of the book are thematically structured raising crucial issues about language and literature in verbal and visual representation and questioning the translatability of the fashion lexicon and between technical jargon and creative communication. The Introduction on lexicography is followed by the first chapter on Fashion Semantics, the second chapter highlights the stigma on femininity with Women, Vanity, and Mortiferous Mirrors, chapter three is on the Ambiguity of Luxury and Eastern Temptations, a theme expounded in chapter four From Bonfires to Bonnets: The Antinomies of Fashion Discourse, followed by The Balls Before the Battles in chapter five, and Ribbons and Laces: Symbols of Seduction in chapter six, Taming, Tailoring, and Domestication: The Shrew Translated in chapter seven, and the concluding chapter eight on Manhattan Macabre, Murders and the Made in Italy.

The diachronic corpus weaves through the fil rouge of the stigma of vanity and anti-feminine discourse from Imperial Rome to fascism, from Shakespeare to Orientalism, from the Manhattan crime narrative to the more recent ‘chick-lit’, including stage and screen adaptations. The issues related to cultural representation in costume design highlight the tension between the original text and the shift in the interpretation of fashion.
The conclusions are ambivalently reflecting the fashion phenomenon as untranslatable in the dynamics of brand globalization and localization. Whereas the ongoing globalization and digitalization and its pervasive use of loan words and global English give a ‘zero degree’ of translation; conversely, there is also an ‘untranslatability’ factor embedded in the culture-bound lexicon and in the identity-rooted pride in trade-marks.

The contribution features the problems of interpreting similes and metaphors in Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra). Theories of literature interface with theories of translation and offer an integrated approach. The relevance of the ‘as if’ marker of comparison in Shakespeare’s magic realism is juxtaposed Plutarch’s historical descriptions. Multi-lingual translation of both authors are considered and contextualized.

This contribution is about the role and function of description and descriptive texts. It outlines the status of description in scientific texts and their translation, and textual functions. The examples cited feature the descriptions of planets (Galileo, Schiaparelli, Lowell) and their interpretations, considering the technical instruments which upgraded optical visualization in mapping and describing.

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