The poetics of movement & translation: the case of Richard Zimler's strawberry fields forever

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The article focuses on a novel with a convoluted publishing history: Richard Zimler’s Strawberry Fields Forever. As a narrative about migrants, its publishing trajectory constitutes in itself a migration story. In 2011, Zimler planned to have a book coming out – Strawberry Fields Forever. In 2012, the book was paginated and ready to go to press. However, Arcadia Books went bankrupt, and the book remained unpublished. In 2011, José Lima translated the novel into European Portuguese. In a translator’s note, Lima discusses his translation as a form of ‘consented betrayal’. Using the resources of Portuguese, the translated text creates a surplus of meaning(s) dependent on the target language and experience. Although hardly new, the surplus results, in this case, from a phenomenon of “overtranslatability”.This publishing history has been further compounded by the fact that the translated text was exported to Brazil, after being “translated” into Brazilian Portuguese. I would like to address the different forms of migration that this translation brings to the fore: (1) migration as story; (2) migration as form; (3) translation as transit; (4) text migration as a challenge to traditional concepts – as the “original” has never been published, the translations are the only extant texts
Translated title of the contribution Poética do movimento & tradução: o caso de Strawberry Fields Forever de Richard Zimler
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-45
Number of pages28
JournalCadernos de Tradução
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jan 2017


  • Migration
  • Translatedness and (un) translatability
  • Overtranslatability
  • Translated literature


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