A Cognitive-Pragmatic Model for Translating Intertextual Metaphors: A Study of Translating Aahlam Mosteghanemi’s Historical-Political Trilogy into English

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The study focuses on the translation of intertextual metaphors in the trilogy of the Algerian novelist Ahlam Mosteghanemi (Dhākirat al-Jasad [1993], Fawḍā al-Ḥawās [1997] and ʿĀbir Sarīr [2003]). In addition to literature, religion, history and politics, most of the intertextual metaphors in the trilogy involve references derived from the collective national memory of Algerians and Arabs in general. Mosteghanemi’s selective metaphoric incorporation of intertextual references not only serves aesthetic purposes but also, expresses specific ideological and political stances. Therefore, the difficulty in translating intertextual metaphors may arise both from the indirectness of their meanings and their use of different intertextual references loaded with political and historical concepts. The model this study develops explains the various complex structures of intertextual metaphors (semantic, stylistic and thematic) using the concept of ‘multiple inputs’ from blending theory (Fauconnier and Turner, 1998, 2002). Moreover, the model uses the ‘principle of relevance’, predicted by relevance theory (Sperber and Wilson, 1995), to propose four strategies that present a means of investing contextual resources (e.g., textual clues) with meaning to ensure more communicative translation. The strategies aim to maximise the target reader’s recovery of the different aspects of the source text’s intertextual metaphor (e.g., its semiotic and pragmatic meanings and its intra-textual relations).