Dictionary Of Automatic Ideas

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Overview

Living in today's multi-speed world is so exasperatingly in-tense for so many people that a great majority of them find solace in routine and automatism. The cliché has become not only a conscious strategy to conform, but a response to anxiety and despair. Humans are therefore increasingly losing their individual voice and adopting ready-made, stale, worn-out and often inaccurate clichés that trivialize noble ideas and the power of one. In fact, with the advent of "smart" technology, free speech, memory and ...
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Dictionary of Automatic Ideas

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Overview

Living in today's multi-speed world is so exasperatingly in-tense for so many people that a great majority of them find solace in routine and automatism. The cliché has become not only a conscious strategy to conform, but a response to anxiety and despair. Humans are therefore increasingly losing their individual voice and adopting ready-made, stale, worn-out and often inaccurate clichés that trivialize noble ideas and the power of one. In fact, with the advent of "smart" technology, free speech, memory and intelligence are becoming endangered species. Ironically, the last several decades of "contact" and social networking have nurtured the sport of cliché ping-ponging. It is in such circumstances that I have translated Gustave Flaubert's Dictionnaire des idées reçues, a brilliant questioning of conventional wisdom and a subtle representation of the transformation of Man by the machinery of capitalism.

Since Dictionnaire des idées recues is a microcosm of Flaubert's world, its translation was anything but simple. The task was not only to jump from cliché to cliché while carrying the color and context of the original text, but to contemporize it so that the historical narrative fits into a more modern context. The first dilemma was to decide whether the definitions should be translated identically throughout, or whether a factually different equivalent should be chosen. Such was the case of fungi/fungus as the translation of the French shakos/chacal. Another rather constant difficulty was whether to say "you" or "one" for the French pronoun "on", the indefinite subject par excellence. Finally, I have given myself the freedom to use quotation marks in order to stress a word within the pre-constructed thought.

May this new interpretation serve as an introduction to Flaubert's work and entice new readers to want to learn more. And may those who already know the author believe that I have done all that I could.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781608881482
  • Publisher: Nimble Books
  • Publication date: 8/31/2011
  • Pages: 118
  • Product dimensions: 0.31 (w) x 5.00 (h) x 8.00 (d)

Meet the Author

BAHARAK HOSSEINI is a Canadian-Iranian author and translator currently completing a Doctorate degree in French Literature at the University of Ottawa. She is the author of the upcoming collection of short stories titled Backlighting.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 4, 2011

    A pleasure to read - highly recommended!

    It is a great read, easy, funny, yet extremely thought-provoking and ever so relevant to our times.

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