Translation: Theory and Practice: A Historical Reader

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9780198711995: Translation: Theory and Practice: A Historical Reader

Translation: Theory and Practice: A Historical Reader responds to the need for a collection of primary texts on translation, in the English tradition, from the earliest times to the present day. Based on an exhaustive survey of the wealth of available materials, the Reader demonstrates throughout the link between theory and practice, with excerpts not only of significant theoretical writings but of actual translations, as well as excerpts on translation from letters, interviews, autobiographies, and fiction.

The collection is intended as a teaching tool, but also as an encyclopaedia for the use of translators and writers on translation. It presents the full panoply of approaches to translation, without necessarily judging between them, but showing clearly what is to be gained or lost in each case. Translations of key texts, such as the Bible and the Homeric epic, are traced through the ages, with the same passages excerpted, making it possible for readers to construct their own map of the evolution of translation and to evaluate, in their historical contexts, the variety of approaches. The passages in question are also accompanied by ad verbum versions, to facilitate comparison.

The bibliographies are likewise comprehensive. The editors have drawn on the expertise of leading scholars in the field, including the late James S. Holmes, Louis Kelly, Jonathan Wilcox, Jane Stevenson, David Hopkins, and many others. In addition, significant non-English texts, such as Martin Luther's "Circular Letter on Translation," which may be said to have inaugurated the Reformation, are included, helping to set the English tradition in a wider context. Related items, such as the introductions to their work by Tudor and Jacobean translators or the work of women translators from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries have been brought together in "collages," marking particularly important moments or developments in the history of translation.

This comprehensive reader provides an invaluable and illuminating resource for scholars and students of translation and English literature, as well as poets, cultural historians, and professional translators.

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About the Author:


Daniel Weissbort was educated at St. Paul's School, London and Cambridge University. With Ted Hughes he founded the journal Modern Poetry in Translation, now published by King's College London. In the early 1970s he went to America to direct the Translation Workshop and MFA Program in Translation at the University of Iowa. His anthologies of Russian and East European poetry are well known and he has also published many collections of his own poetry. He is or has been on various boards, including the Poetry International Committee (UK), the American Literary Translators Association board, the Columbia Translation Center board, the Stephen Spender Memorial Trust, and the British Centre for Literary Translation board. He is Professor (Emeritus) of English and Comparative Literature, University of Iowa, Research Fellow in the English Department, King's College London, and Honorary Professor in the Centre for Translation and Comparative Cultural Studies at the University of Warwick. Astradur Eysteinsson was born in Akranes, Iceland, in 1957. He studied at the universities of Iceland, Warwick, and Cologne, before completing a PhD in Comparative Literature at the University of Iowa. He has been Professor and Chair of Comparative Literature at the University of Iceland, and Visiting Professor in Translation Studies at the universities of Iowa and Copenhagen. He has been a practising translator since 1981.

Review:

a useful and interesting reference volume ...the volume offers considerable riches, factoring in a number of European writers, and with a surprising amount of material that is relevant to earlier periods. * Medium Aevum * Weissbort and Eysteinsson's collection is nothing less than magnificent - both in terms of its size and of its scope. * Perspectives: Studies in Translatology, Volume 14:2 * a useful and wide-ranging anthology. * Kenneth Haynes, The Review of English Studies * A magnificently compendious volume...Translation - Theory and Practice is in many respects an essential volume: it is the fullest gathering we have of writing relating to literary translation into English, and it juxtaposes its material in thought-provoking ways. * Matthew Reynolds, Translation and Literature *

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Daniel Weissbort (Editor), Astradur Eysteinsson (Editor)
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