Your Country is of Great Subtlety: Aspects of the Brazilian Translation of Patrick White’s Voss


  • Ian Alexander UFRGS
  • Monica Stefani Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul UFRGS



Patrick White, Voss, Australian Literature, Translation


A number of the dialogues in Patrick White’s Voss (1957), especially those involving Laura Trevelyan, involve an implicit debate about what is meant by country and what it means to live in a country. Is the colony of New South Wales simply a province of the British Empire, a little piece of Britain transplanted on the other side of the world, or is it a place where British settlers will have to adapt their ways and gradually be transformed into something new? In these dialogues, each speaker makes use of words such as countrycolonyproperty and land in order to express their vision of the place where they find themselves, frequently forcing a shift of meaning from one sentence to the next. This study examines how this debate is carried out in the novel and how it functions in Paulo Henriques Britto’s 1985 Brazilian translation.

Biografia do Autor

Ian Alexander, UFRGS

Ian Alexander is a professor at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul. He is a Master in Literary Theory (PUCRS, 2006) and a Doctor in Comparative Literature (UFRGS, 2010).

Monica Stefani, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul UFRGS

Monica Stefani is a Master in Modern English Literatures (UFRGS, 2011) and is currently undertaking her PhD in the same university.


White, Patrick. Voss. London: Vintage, 1994. Print.

---. Voss. Trans. Paulo Henriques Britto. Rio de Janeiro: Nova Fronteira, 1985. Print.