Who’s afraid of Jane Eyre? translating as reframing in the Portugal of the 1940s and 1950s

Alexandra Lopes*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Paraphrasing Gertrude Stein, a frame is a frame is a frame. In a sense, all narrative is a reframing of experience, either lived or projected. In a novel such as Jane Eyre. An Autobiography (1847), the frame is of paramount importance. It begins with the subtitle. Purporting to be an autobiography, the novel asks to be read as an authentic narrative of a vulnerable I, claiming a voice in the public sphere. The act is revolutionary, as are the character’s repeated interpellations of the reader. Addressing the reader becomes a political act in Jane Eyre, as the metaleptical gesture emphasizes the novel’s proto-feminist undercurrent. Not only do the interpellations transgress narrative boundaries, they also produce meaning in different ways: they implicate the readers in Jane’s account, but, paradoxically, they remind readers of the fictional character of the narrative. The chapter starts by discussing the apparent paradox brought about by the use of metalepsis as an act of translatedness, in the context of the reflection on what an autobiography is and how identity is socially construed. In the second part, three translations of the novel into European Portuguese are examined, in order to see how different translators re-enacted Brontë‘s metaleptical framework.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReframing translators, translators as reframers
EditorsDominique Faria, Marta Pacheco Pinto, Joana Moura
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherTaylor and Francis AS
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9781000612936, 9781003185116
ISBN (Print)9781032027739
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022


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