More or Less on the Mark? Translating Harold Pinter’s The Dwarfs: A Novel


  • Łukasz Borowiec John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin



translation, The Dwarfs, A Novel, translatability, culture in translation


A literary source text demands the translator’s approach for each process of translation. This approach involves a complex and multifaceted analysis of the source text. As Pinter’s novel The Dwarfs provides rich ground for such analysis, I present a selection of translation issues against the backdrop of a more general problem of translatability. Pinter is a master of English dialogue, which makes its translation a truly daunting task. The conversations between the characters are filled with expressions from cricket, dated British cultural references, puns, literary and Biblical allusions, phrases and formulaic expressions characteristic of Cockney, and numerous allusions to Shakespeare as well as his own earlier plays. I examine the translatability of The Dwarfs by discussing three translation codes: lexical-semantic, cultural and esthetic. Although these are closely interconnected and interdependent, I present a choice of issues within each code in order to submit for consideration the challenges facing a Pinter translator as well as to show the complexity of Pinter’s artistic vision in one of his earliest works.


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1. 06. 2012

How to Cite

Borowiec, Łukasz. (2012). More or Less on the Mark? Translating Harold Pinter’s The Dwarfs: A Novel. ELOPE: English Language Overseas Perspectives and Enquiries, 9(1), 15-27.