It’s all in the attitude
Parodies of Rachid Taha and Seu Jorge
Building on various theoretical approaches to translation (Hickey 1998; Bassnett 2001), this article demonstrates the intersection between translation and parody (Aoyama and Wakabayashi 1999) by comparing two musical texts: Rachid Taha’s “Douce France” and Seu Jorge’s Portuguese translation of David Bowie’s “Life on Mars?”. According to Linda Hutcheon’s (1985) view of parody as a form of repetition maintaining a critical distance, both texts are parodic. Each parody presents a very different attitude, which influences their ethos. Rachid Taha’s cover involves irony, which often marks parody (Hutcheon 1985), and thus a negative ethos: criticizing his new country for grievances against immigrants. Seu Jorge, however, pays tribute to the Bowie song he translates. These observations illustrate the close relationship between parody and translation.
Keywords: parody, irony, popular music, David Bowie, Rachid Taha
Published online: 06 April 2020
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