Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies (PhD)

Degree Level



Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies


John T. Duval

Committee Member

Adnan Haydar

Second Committee Member

Charles Adams


Language, literature and linguistics, Palestinian fiction, Translators


This study examines the translators’ invisibility in postcolonial translated Palestinian fiction. On one hand, this analysis revolves around the ethical stance of translators towards authors in a postcolonial theoretical framework. On the other, it brings postcolonial translation scholars’ approaches into practice and examination. Therefore, this study provides a critical analysis of reading novels in translation as both a channel of decolonization from Oriental and imperial discourses and an aesthetic catalyst for freedom in exile, specifically translated by Trevor LeGassick, Elizabeth Fernea, Salma Jayyusi, Adnan Haydar, and Roger Allen. The intriguing paradox of the translator’s invisibility is inherent in the contradiction between an invisible and a visible translator. If the translator is invisible, he translates in a fluent, transparent language spinning the illusion that the translation is the original. If the translator is visible, he/she uses translation as a means of resistance against the hegemonic Anglo-American readership practice of fluency and transparency through a preservation of the difference between cultures. I argue that the way out of such contradiction or binary opposition is to review translation in terms of whether it matches the original in all its intents and purposes, preserves and/or mediates between cultures, while also being aware of the original works’ socio-political and ideological environment in order to ascertain what choices best serve the decolonizing translation of Third World literatures. Although this study does not argue against theory per se, an incorporation of the work’s socio-political context best serves the decolonizing reading of a translation. The study further shows that the translator’s choice to maintain the decolonizing reading is affected by any alteration of the authorial or narrative voices.