Western Literature in Iran
Iranian Literary Publishers’ Criteria for Choosing Western Literary Works to Be Translated in Iran
Keywords:Iranian publishers, Iranian literary polysystem, Western literary polysystem, criteria for selecting western literary works, capital
The role of translation in the emergence of modern European-style novels in the Iranian literary poly-system has long been studied. However, the translation of Western novels in the Iranian literary poly-system is a complex process in which many actors are involved. One of these actors is the publishers who play an undeniable role in the "field" of publishing and introducing literary works to readers. Considering this importance, the present study aims to investigate the field of Iranian literary publishing using Bourdieu's (1983, 1986, 2008) theoretical framework to examine the criteria of Iranian publishers for selecting Western literary works for translation and publication in Iran. In this regard, in an interview with three translators, three sociologists of literature, and ten prominent publishers in the country, the publishers’ criteria in selecting and introducing Western literary works to Iranian readers were examined and the interviewees' answers were qualitatively analyzed using Strauss & Corbin (1998) Grounded Theory. The findings of the present study revealed that the Iranian publishers studied here selected the works with overwhelming "symbolic" and "cultural" capitals, such as the author's reputation, international awards won by the work, TV series made based on the work, and global bestsellers in selecting literary works. The reason can be the publishers’ efforts to acquire "economic, cultural and symbolic capitals" in the hierarchical and competitive "field" of publishing in Iran.
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