In Book II, Chapter 3 (342.30–32), Joyce employs the portmanteau word “swapstick”, combining the words “swap”, “stick”, “slapstick” and “swastika”:
“This eeridreme has being effered to you by Bett and Tipp. Tipp and Bett, our swapstick quackchancers, in From Topphole to Bottom of The Irish Race and World.”
Donaldo Schüler’s (2002, p. 303) translation of this passage retains the concept of “slapstick” with the term “fragorosos farsantes” [rackety masqueraders], but omits any reference to the swastika.
“Este eeridrama lhes foi oferecido por Bett e Tipp. Tipp e Bett, nossos fragorosos farsantes em Do-Furo-de-cima ao Furo-de-baixo de The Irish Race World.”
Philippe Lavergne’s (1982, p. 525) translation (“nos jumeaux interchangeables” …show more content…
This is a translation that often flattens and simplifies Joyce’s polysemic language, directing the interpretation and eliminating many possible lines of interpretation. The intention here is not to decry Lavergne’s translation, which has, among other merits, that of having been the first complete translation of Finnegans Wake into any language. The point is that, for the purposes of our work, this translation does not seem the most suitable.
Despite Schüler’s evident concern to reproduce the polysemy of the text, his translation retained the reference to the swastika in only one of occurrences. One of the reasons for that is the decision, stated by Schüler in his Introduction, to translate most foreign languages used in Finnegans Wake into Portuguese or some language similar to Portuguese. Thus the German terms were often translated into Portuguese and other Latin languages.
Michel’s translation kept the references to the swastika more than the other translations, but it didn’t always achieve a fully satisfactory result. This translation shows a clear concern to reproduce in detail the linguistic hybridity and polysemy of Finnegans Wake, without simplifying the text or explaining what is not explained in the