A Reappreciation of Cannibal Translation as Critique of Ideology


Alexandre Dubé-Belzile


Cultural hegemony has been widely discussed within the field of Translation Studies. However, few scholars proposed a method of political action to erase the thumbprint of hegemony found in many translated works. In my opinion, the concept of “cannibal translation” developed by Haroldo de Campos is an exception (De Campos & Wolff, 1986). This form of translation is a way to regain control over the meaning of existing discourses and of the systems of representations that govern our daily lives. This paper will rely on a strong theoretical background, in order to argue for the realization of a form of militancy within the boundaries of the systems of representations of language itself, in order to stop seeing the world with the “imperial eyes” (Mary Snell-Hornby, 2006) of cultural hegemony, namely of English tongue and culture in Canada and its industries in Colombia. Finally, I will approach militant translation as a method of “ideological criticism,” as understood by Slavoj Žižek. who defines ideology as a “unconscious fantasy that structures social reality” (García & Sánchez, 2008).