“Don’t be too upset with your unchivalrous publisher:” Translator-Publisher Interactions in the Swedish Translations of L.M. Montgomery’s Anne and Emily Books
This article explores the translation practices of the Swedish translations of Canadian writer L.M. Montgomery’s Anne and Emily books from a sociological perspective. By studying the interactions between the different agents involved in the making of the translations, in this case the translators and the publishers, the study adds to previous research on the Swedish translations conducted by Laura Leden and Cornelia Rémi. Through an extensive archival material from Montgomery’s first Swedish publishing house C.W.K. Gleerups, the study uncovers and discusses which norms the translators and publishers worked by, as well as the publishers’ role in the translation process and how the publishers’ profile and praxis affected the translations. The analysis demonstrates that the publishers’ were highly engaged in the translation processes and that their ideas and instructions played an important part in shaping the books’ content and making them part of the children’s canon in Sweden. For instance, it was the publisher and a publishing house board member – not the translator – who came up with the iconic book title Anne på Grönkulla (Anne of Green Gables). The publishers primarily steered the translators in matters that concerned the salability of the novels – the length and the titles of the books – but also on a more detailed level. This close cooperation points to the fact that it sometimes is relevant to refer to the publisher as a co-translator. In line with current research within the field of sociology of translation, the study thus concludes that the process of translating Montgomery’s Anne and Emily books into Swedish should be seen as a collective act.
Authors retain copyright of their work, with first publication rights granted to The Swedish Institute for Children's Books. However, authors are required to transfer copyrights associated with commercial use to the Publisher.