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On ne naît pas femme: on le devientThe Life of a Sentence$
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Bonnie Mann and Martina Ferrari

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190608811

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190608811.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 November 2020

Simone De Beauvoir: The Second Sex

Simone De Beauvoir: The Second Sex

Review of the New Translation

(p.115) 6 Simone De Beauvoir: The Second Sex
On ne naît pas femme: on le devient

Nancy Bauer

Oxford University Press

This chapter is a reprint of a book review of the new translation of The Second Sex, which raises questions about its success in rendering Beauvoir’s thought into English. Siding with critical scholars like Toril Moi, Bauer argues that Borde and Malovany-Chevallier’s translation is disappointing. The translation obscures Beauvoir’s philosophical insights by too often sacrificing readability and clear renditions of Beauvoir’s reasoning to word-by-word translations of Beauvoir’s long sentences and uncommon stylistic choices. This is due to the inexperience of the translators, who, Bauer claims, had never before translated such French theoretical writing and had no experience dealing with the “conceptual and rhetorical challenges” of Le deuxiéme sexe. Overall, Bauer’s review echoes the long history of the discounting of and underappreciation of feminist work as reflected in translation practices that assume women’s interests, writing, and scholarship to be tangential to scholarly research.

Keywords:   Constance Borde and Sheila Malovany-Chevallier, Simone de Beauvoir, Le deuxième sexe, translation controversy, feminism

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