Pseudotranslation in the fiction of Akutagawa Ryũnosuke

Thomas O. Beebee, Ikuho Amano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


This paper analyzes the use of pseudotranslation as a literary strategy by the renowned Japanese author Akutagawa Ryunosuke [image omitted](1892-1927). Beyond providing further study examples of pseudotranslation to complement those analyzed by Gideon Toury, Emily Apter, Nitsa Ben-Ari, Sehnaz Tahir-Gurcaglar, and others, the Akutagawa texts examined in this essay may nuance and expand the concept of pseudotranslation and the cultural work that it performs. Just as the cultural history of translation should include the phenomenon of pseudotranslation, so too investigation of the relation of pseudotranslation to a more general authorial practice of mimesis of translation can be fruitful. The article begins with Akutagawa's reading of a pseudotranslation by the German author Goethe as the basis for a discussion of the phenomenon of pseudotranslation. We examine pseudotranslation and the mimesis of polylinguality in a number of texts by Akutagawa, concluding with a discussion of the suitability of this term to describe the variety of cases found in Akutagawa's works.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-32
Number of pages16
JournalTranslation Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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