Rethinking Medieval Translation: Ethics, Politics, Theory

Article excerpt

Rethinking Medieval Translation: Ethics, Politics, Theory, ed. Emma Campbell and Robert Mills (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer; Rochester, NY: Boydell & Brewer, 2012). xii + 256 pp.; 16 black-and-white illustrations. ISBN 978-1-84384-329-0. 60.00 [pounds sterling]. This is an outstanding collection of essays, with contributions from an international selection of leading medieval scholars delivering fresh perspectives on some of the ethical, political, theoretical, practical, linguistic, cultural, and religious aspects of medieval translatio. All the essays are founded on and linked by the concept of translatio (and its vernacular cognates) as both 'textual and linguistic translation' and 'non-textual forms of movement, relocation and transfiguration' (p. 107). It is this focus which successfully and satisfyingly weaves together chapters covering a wide range of genres, languages, centuries, and approaches. Such a broad focus on translatio alongside historical issues allows for readings of an extended range of translated material, from inter-/extra-diegetic and interlingual translation to illuminations. The contributors reassess translatio in texts and manuscripts from the thirteenth to the sixteenth centuries, and by using approaches informed by post-colonial and translation theory, especially the writings of Jacques Derrida, Walter Benjamin, and Laurence Venuti. …