Abstract

In this article, I analyze two novels by the Haitian author Frankétienne, Dézafi, written in Haitian Creole in 1975, and Les Affres d'un défi, written in French in 1979, as well as his theorization of the relationship between the two texts. These novels are identical in plot, character, setting, and temporal frame, but the author insists in a paratextual note that they are not translations of one another, but products of the same matrice. I examine existing scholarship in translation theory, demonstrating that Frankétienne's theorization of the texts as interrelated productions of his own multilingual creative capacities propose the matrice as a model for understanding work by multilingual authors. Each text intimates a shared aesthetic and political message to audiences with varying experience of the political and cultural milieu in which Frankétienne wrote. Ultimately, the interconnection of the texts and the languages in which they are written expresses a historical tension between the marginal and dominant, between the local and the global. Multiple iterations in conflict, rather than a single endeavor to resolve them, most fully express this ongoing struggle.

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