Dune: Translating a Monumental Work of Science Fiction for a Modern Dutch Audience
Ingen, T.T.J.C.R. van
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This thesis concerns the translation of science fiction, and Frank Herbert’s Dune in particular. Dune was first published in 1965 and remains one of the most highly acclaimed works of SF ever written. The single Dutch translation dates from 1974. For my thesis, I did research into finding a definition of science fiction that would help me analyse two fragments of the source text. The definition that best described SF as a genre was one by Darko Suvin: SF is defined by the presence and interaction between estrangement and cognition, and the main device that is used to create this interaction is the novum, an element that sets the story apart from the world we live in. After analysing the fragments of the source text, I found that most of the translation problems could be sorted into one of these three characteristics. I translated the fragments in the way that I felt best transferred these three characteristics into Dutch while also focusing on making my translation more suitable for a modern audience than the 1974 translation is nowadays. I then compared my translation to the older one to see how well this translation captured the three main characteristics of SF.