88. The serial novel as an object of research in translation history: Methodological implications for historiography of translation

Arslan D. U., Koçak M. I., Yağcı S. E.

RumeliDE Dil ve Edebiyat Araştırmaları Dergisi, no.33, pp.1424-1438, 2023 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier


Despite their incontestable worldwide influence on culture and literature in the 19th and 20th centuries, serial novels are underrepresented in translation history research. This paper calls attention to serial novels as a fertile source of historical knowledge regarding translation, reception, and circulation drawing from a comprehensive study of translated and indigenous serial novels in three Turkish daily newspapers, namely Cumhuriyet, Akşam, and Vakit, published between 1928 and 1960. Based on this premise, the aim of the paper is twofold. The first is to display some common characteristics of serial novels, such as plasticity, anonymity, topicality, and ephemerality, along with the substantial impact these characteristics made on the way translations were performed in history. The second is to problematize the neglect of serial novels in translation historiography and suggest their inclusion in translation history research. The paper argues that serial novels and, when available, other serial publications are crucial primary sources for many sub-fields of historical research related to translation to the extent that their exclusion inevitably leads to gaps and, in some cases, even misrepresentations of historical reality. In order to abstain from such historiographical drawbacks, researchers of translation history, especially those focusing on retranslation, reception, and circulation of literary works, need to pay due heed to the practice of serialization.