Parergonality, paratranslation, and text-as-house imagery: six Romanian-language editions of Oscar Wilde’s fairy-tales




parergon/ paratext, (para)translation, Oscar Wilde, (sub)liminality, discourse, translator’s visibility/ voice


This paper focuses on the mediating role paratexts perform in the transmission of a text from one culture to another. Our case in point is a series of (re)translations of Oscar Wilde’s fairy tales into Romanian (published between 1911 and 2018), with their respective allographic paratextuality (prefaces, postfaces, translator’s foreword, introduction, glossaries, author biographies, dedications etc.). The paratexts are examined with a view to distinguishing between those which allocate authority to the translated text and those which undermine it. Architectural metaphorics will be resorted to, for a better illustration of the relation between text and paratext. If, according to Kant (1987[1781]), pareregon is to ergon what columns are to buildings, and if, when it comes to books, parergon is a (near-)synonym for paratext, the text-as-house imagery proposed here is meant to encapsulate the way books assemble their (para)textual contents for the reading public.

Author Biography

Daniela Hăisan, Ștefan cel Mare University of Suceava

Daniela Hăisan is currently Associate Professor of Linguistics and English Language at Ştefan cel Mare University of Suceava, Romania. Her research interests include translation, discourse analysis, English morphology, and English for specific purposes. As of 2012, she has been involved in a series of exploratory research programmes on cultural translation and translation history. Guest editor of seven special issues of Atelier de traduction, Concordia Discors vs. Discordia Concors, and Messages, Sages, and Ages (2013-2021), she has also published five books and 60 papers on various topics in translation and linguistics. 



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Wilde, O. (2018). Prinţul fericit şi alte poveşti/ The Happy Prince and Other Tales. (Magda Teodorescu, Trans.). Bucharest: Cartex 2000.

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How to Cite

Hăisan, D. (2022). Parergonality, paratranslation, and text-as-house imagery: six Romanian-language editions of Oscar Wilde’s fairy-tales. Swedish Journal of Romanian Studies, 5(2), 137–156.