The Translator's Invisibility: A History of Translation

The Translator's Invisibility: A History of Translation

The Translator's Invisibility: A History of Translation

The Translator's Invisibility: A History of Translation

Synopsis

The Translator's Invisibiltytraces the history of translation from the seventeenth century to the present day. It shows how fluency prevailed over other translation strategies to shape the canon of foreign literatures in English, and investigates the cultural consequences of the domestic values which were simulateneously inscribed and masked in foreign texts during this period. Lawrence Venuti examines alternative theories of translation which aim to communicate linguistic and cultural differences instead of eliding them. This book is an indispensable explanation of the way in which translation can be studied as a locus of difference. It will illuminating and helpful reading.

Excerpt

The growth of translation studies as a separate discipline is a success story of the 1980s. The subject has developed in many parts of the world and is clearly destined to continue developing well into the twenty-first century. Translation studies brings together work in a wide variety of fields, including linguistics, literary study, history, anthropology, psychology, and economics. This series of books will reflect the breadth of work in translation studies and will enable readers to share in the exciting new developments that are taking place at the present time.

Translation is, of course, a rewriting of an original text. All rewritings, whatever their intention, reflect a certain ideology and a poetics and as such manipulate literature to function in a given society in a given way. Rewriting is manipulation, undertaken in the service of power, and in its positive aspect can help in the evolution of a literature and a society. Rewritings can introduce new concepts, new genres, new devices, and the history of translation is the history also of literary innovation, of the shaping power of one culture upon another. But rewriting can also repress innovation, distort and contain, and in an age of ever increasing manipulation of all kinds, the study of the manipulative processes of literature as exemplified by translation can help us toward a greater awareness of the world in which we live.

Since this series of books on translation studies is the first of its kind, it will be concerned with its own genealogy. It will publish texts from the past that illustrate its concerns in the present, and will publish texts of a more theoretical nature immediately addressing those concerns, along with case studies illustrating manipulation through rewriting in various literatures. It will be comparative in nature and will range through many literary traditions, both

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