Optional Shifts in Existential Presupposition in Two Arabic Translations of A Farewell to Arms: A Shift into a More Narratorial Involvement and an Approximated Reader


This paper examines the optional shift in existential presupposition in two Arabic translations of Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms. In particular, it seeks to identify both how the shift occurs and how it affects the stylistic features of the translated narrative, namely point of view and readers’ interactive relationship with the text. The ultimate goal is to contribute to the research into the stylistic aspects of English-Arabic fiction translation and the alleged norms of translation. The findings reveal a tendency to increase the level of definiteness of the referring expressions and to claim more of the reader’s assumed knowledge of the text, suggesting a more approximated and involved reader compared to that of the original. There is also a tendency to bring the narrator and characters closer to each other in the psychological space and to increase the narrator’s subjectivity in the translated text. This tendency reflects the translator’s attempts to reconstruct the realities depicted in the original narrative during the translation process. Existential presupposition may be better seen in the translated fiction as a tool translators use to enhance the passage of information to a reader who is often linguistically and psychologically remote from the original work.


Othman Ahmad Abualadas


presupposition, translation shifts, translational style, fiction