What Is Translation? Centrifugal Theories, Critical Interventions

What Is Translation? Centrifugal Theories, Critical Interventions

What Is Translation? Centrifugal Theories, Critical Interventions

What Is Translation? Centrifugal Theories, Critical Interventions


In What Is Translation? Douglas Robinson investigates the present state of translation studies and looks ahead to the exciting new directions in which he sees the field moving. Reviewing the work of such theorists as Frederick Rener, Rita Copeland, Eric Cheyfitz, Andre Lefevere, Anthony Pym, Suzanne Jill Levine, and Philip E. Lewis, he both celebrates and critiques the last decade's work.


Albrecht Neubert & Gregory M. Shreve

Douglas Robinson What Is Translation? Centrifugal Theories, Critical Interventions is the fourth volume of the Translation Studies monograph series. The basic editorial strategy of the series is to present a broad spectrum of thinking on translation and to challenge our conceptions of what translation is and how we should think about it. We have included What Is Translation? in our series to quite deliberately push the envelope of translation studies as far as we can. We want the series to open up our readers' minds to the different forms of scholarship that can emerge in translation studies.

Douglas Robinson is a dynamic figure in a rapidly emerging "American" school of humanist/literary translation theory. He is a provocative writer, with a style that combines erudite historical and literary scholarship with highly personal, often anecdotal, argumentation. As Edwin Gentzler points out in his excellent introduction, Robinson is a unique and valuable voice in modern translation theory, difficult to categorize, impossible to ignore.

The purpose of our series is to present as many voices as possible, including those with whom we might disagree on important issues. We, for instance, continue to challenge Robinson's apparently deep-seated conviction that outside of the pantheon he cites in his preface and throughout the Volume (Venuti, Levine, and Lefevere, among others), very little of value has been done to "open up" translation theory beyond the confines of its linguistic origins. There is still a tendency to center his conceptions of "translation theory" on developments within a rather restricted circle of activity in literary translation and writing about literary translation. Everything outside of this circle is not actually dismissed, but mostly ignored, as prescriptive and slavishly linguistic. This constriction of the range of translation theory is a flaw in his work, even . . .

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