Translation Studies

Translation Studies

Translation Studies

Translation Studies

Synopsis

In the late 1970s a new academic discipline was born: Translation Studies. We could not read literature in translation, it was argued, without asking ourselves if linguistic and cultural phenomena really were 'translatable' and exploring in some depth the concept of 'equivalence'. When Susan Bassnett's Translation Studies appeared in the New Accents series, it quickly became the essential introduction to this new subject. Susan Bassnett tackles the crucial problems of translation and offers a history of translation theory, beginning with the ancient Romans and encompassing key twentieth-century structuralist work. She then explores specific problems of literary translation through a close, practical analysis of texts, and completes her book with extensive suggestions for further reading. Twenty years after publication, the field of translation studies continues to grow. Updated for the second time, Susan Bassnett's Translation Studies remains essential reading for anyone new to the field.

Excerpt

No doubt a third General Editor's Preface to New Accents seems hard to justify. What is there left to say? Twenty-five years ago, the series began with a very clear purpose. Its major concern was the newly perplexed world of academic literary studies, where hectic monsters called 'Theory', 'Linguistics' and 'Politics' ranged. In particular, it aimed itself at those undergraduates or beginning postgraduate students who were either learning to come to terms with the new developments or were being sternly warned against them.

New Accents deliberately took sides. Thus the first Preface spoke darkly, in 1977, of 'a time of rapid and radical social change', of the 'erosion of the assumptions and presuppositions' central to the study of literature. 'Modes and categories inherited from the past' it announced, 'no longer seem to fit the reality experienced by a new generation'. The aim of each volume would be to 'encourage rather than resist the process of change' by combining nuts-and-bolts exposition of new ideas with clear and detailed explanation of related conceptual developments. If mystification (or downright demonisation) was the enemy, lucidity (with a nod to the compromises inevitably at stake there) became a friend. If a 'distinctive discourse of the future' beckoned, we wanted at least to be able to understand it.

With the apocalypse duly noted, the second Preface proceeded

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