Translation Drafts

deadline for submissions: 
November 1, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
TTR - Traduction, terminologie, rédaction
contact email: 

TTR – Traduction, terminologie, rédaction, vol. 36, no 2 (2023)

Thematic issue guest edited by Patrick Hersant


What are the mental operations and writing practices by which a text becomes, in another language, another text? In order to better understand how translations come into being, the journal TTR - Traduction, terminologie, rédaction proposes to examine an object of study that has long remained invisible or inaccessible: the working documents of translators, where strikethroughs and permutations, erasures and second thoughts, alternative wordings and successive corrections reveal a process that is as yet understudied:  translations in the making.

Following the rise of translation studies as a discipline and the re-evaluation of the act of translation, over the past ten years libraries and other institutions have acquired translators’ documents. This has led to the creation of translation archives, most of which have yet to be exploited – examples can be found in the “Genetics of Translations” notebook at

Combining translation studies and genetic criticism, the “genetics of translations” invites a reflection on the work of translators in its multiple aspects, including writing, peritexts, correspondence with the author, and reflections on practice. However, this thematic issue of TTR aims to circumscribe and investigate a single object, the least studied to date: translation drafts, in the form of manual first drafts or reworked typescripts. A genetic reading of these drafts should shed light on the daily reality of translators’ work, on the evolution of their method over the years or from one work to the next, and on the little-known interface where the text is created, at the same time as language is transformed, through discoveries, provisional approximations, and perpetual rewriting.

Contributions to this issue (in English or French) may address one or more of the following questions:

• What is gained by examining the translation process instead of (or in addition to) the final product, the printed book? Why have the working documents of some literary translators survived, while others have been lost or forgotten? Do the traces on the page of the translator's work reveal unexpected collaborations (e.g. with the author) or the intervention of unsuspected third parties (e.g. the editor or the reviser)?

• What methodologies are available to researchers in translation genetics? What can translation theorists learn from other disciplines that study and theorise archives? How can the genetic approach enrich translation analytics, and what are its constraints or limitations? 

• What difficulties does the researcher face when analyzing working documents located outside libraries and other institutions? Does the proliferation of personal computers, translation technologies, databases, and other digital media pose specific problems for a genetic approach to translation studies?



Abstracts of proposed papers (600 words maximum) are due by November 1, 2022

Papers (in English or French; 10,000 words maximum, including bibliography and notes) are due by February 1, 2023

Papers, together with an abstract (in English and French), 5 keywords (in English and French), a bio-bibliographical note (250 words maximum) and a signed “Author's Commitment” form (available at: should be sent to


Selective bibliography

AGOSTINI, V., et A. LAVIERI (dir.) (2015) « Poétiques des archives : Genèse des traductions et communautés de pratique », numéro thématique de Transalpina, n° 18. 

CHESTERMAN, A. (2009) ‘The name and nature of translator studies’, Hermes, n° 42, p. 13-22.

CORDINGLEY, A., et C. MONTINI (2015) ‘Genetic translation studies: An emerging discipline’, Linguistica Antverpiensia (New Series), numéro thématique ‘Towards a genetics of translation’, n° 14, 

DE BIASI, P.-M. (1998) « Qu’est-ce qu’un brouillon ? Le cas Flaubert : essai de typologie fonctionnelle des documents de genèse », in M. CONTAT (dir.), Pourquoi la critique génétique ? Méthodes, théories, Paris : CNRS, p. 31-60.

DE BIASI, P.-M. (2011) Génétique des textes, Paris : CNRS.

DEPPMAN, J., D. FERRER et M. GRODEN (dir.) (2004) Genetic criticism: texts and avant-textes, Philadelphie : University of Pennsylvania Press.

DURAND-BOGAERT, F. (dir.) (2014) « Traduire », numéro thématique de Genesis, n° 38, 

FERRER, D. (2011) Logiques du brouillon : Modèles pour une critique génétique, Paris : Éditions du Seuil.

GRESILLON, A. (1994) Eléments de critique génétique, Paris : PUF.

HERSANT, P. (dir.) (2020) « Dans l’archive des traducteurs », numéro thématique de Palimpsestes, n° 34, 

HERSANT, P. « “On n’est jamais tout seul” : étude génétique d’une collaboration », in Ana Clara Santos (dir.), Carnets, revue d’études françaises, n° 14, 2018, 

MUNDAY, J. (2013) ‘The role of archival and manuscript research in the investigation of translator decision-making’, Target, vol. 25, n° 1, p. 127-140.

MUNDAY, J. (2014) ‘Using primary sources to produce a microhistory of translation and translators: Theoretical and methodological concerns’, The Translator, vol. 20, n° 1, p. 64-80.

NUNES, A. et al. (2020) Genetic Translation Studies, Londres : Bloomsbury.

SCOTT, C. (2006) ‘Translating the literary: Genetic criticism text theory and poetry’ in S. BASSNETT et P. BUSH (dir.), The translator as writer, Londres : Continuum, p. 106-117.

VAN HULLE, D. (2022) Genetic criticism: Tracing creativity in literature, Oxford : OUP.