The exemplary relationship between author and proofreader (as well as other similar textual workers) and the myth of Babel: a few comments on the History of the Siege of Lisbon, by José Saramago

This paper is part of a series of texts I have devoted to the exam of the treatment given to translators (as well as to other textual "workers" such as interpreters, proofreaders, critics and professional readers) in a few works of fiction. In this paper in particular I am interested in examining the relationship which is established between the narrator (as the Author's spokesman) and the "subversive" proofreader named Raimundo Silva in José Saramago's novel História do Cerco de Lisboa (History of the Siege of Lisbon). Just as in most theoretical approaches and in the way common sense generally treats this kind of textual work, Saramago's novel suggests that, from the point of view of the Author, who is the only one granted the right to be creative and both personally and professionally fulfilled, what needs to be protected is the "sacredness" of the original and everything it stands for.

Translation Studies; Translator's Invisibility; Authorship; Myth of Babel; José Saramago; History of the Siege of Lisbon


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