M.A. (Master of Arts)
Department of World Languages and Cultures
Translating and interpreting--Study and teaching||Literature||Hispanic Americans--Study and teaching
The stories translated for this thesis, "The Bog Girl," and "Tiny Man," were originally published by The New Yorker magazine in 2016. Although stylistically different, these tales are thematically similar; both are stories of adolescent sexual initiation and coming of age. Through the use of comical-grotesque imagery and subject matter, both authors were able to create narratives of alienation and loss, full of pathos, that underscore the humanity of their main characters. "The Bog Girl" tells the story of Cillian, an adolescent boy who accidentally unearths the perfectly preserved body of a young girl sacrificed in a peat bog during the Iron Age, in the wetlands of the European island where the story is set. Cillian falls immediately in love with her and brings her home with him. Rather than reacting towards the unconventional infatuation of her son with a mummified girl, the young man's mother anguishes over his loss of innocence and his gradual emotional detachment from her. Cillian is prepared to quit school, his mother, and the island to spend the rest of his life with the Bog Girl. But one night, the Bog Girl comes back to life. In spite of his longing for her, Cillian is horrified and panics. His mother commands him to take her back home. After a final, erotic embrace, the Bog Girl lets go of Cillian and slips into the bog water where she had been found, and her body disintegrates. In "Tiny Man," the narrator relates, in a series of oneiric-like vignettes, his encounters with a group of gangsters who are abusing and displaying around town the embalmed and miniaturized corpse of his father. Other vignettes have to do with Felicity, the underage lover of the narrator's father who is about the same age as the narrator was when the events took place. Although the narrator and his father move away to run from the legal consequences of having Felicity around, she finds their new place and keeps showing up looking for the father, who works far away and is never home. Eventually, the narrator and Felicity have sex. This creates a profound sense of guilt in the boy. He feels he has betrayed his father. He sets off on a journey to find his father and beg him to come back to Felicity. His is not only a geographic journey but also an introspective quest through the emotional void that existed between father and son.
Tamayo, Alejandro, ""The bog girl," by Karen Russell, and "Tiny man," by Sam Shepard, translated into Spanish under the titles La muchacha del pantano and Hombre en miniatura, respectively" (2018). Graduate Research Theses & Dissertations. 18.
Northern Illinois University
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