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Encyclopedia of Literary Translation into English Hardcover – December 1, 2000

1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-1884964367 ISBN-10: 1884964362 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

With contributions from an impressive list of academic and independent scholars and translators, the over 600 entries in this encyclopedia cover translation into English of works of literature, from ancient to modern, written in "the principal world languages." Overview articles on languages, groups of writers, and genres include topics such as Arabic, modern Greek women writers, and haiku. Other topical entries, e.g., "Hypertext and Translation" and "Cultural Transposition," pertain to translation practice and theory. Articles on major authors contain a brief biography, list of translations, and history and analysis of the translation of their work. Also included are entries on individual works such as the Mahabharata and the Bible. All entries end with suggestions for further reading, and overview articles often contain bibliographies of translations. The book's strengths include its contributors, bibliographies, wide scope (chronological, linguistic, literary genres, etc.), discussion of individual authors and titles, and uniqueness; the Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation Studies, the only other translation encyclopedia known to this reviewer, is a single-volume work that focuses on the field of translation studies and does not treat other topics covered here, e.g., the translation histories of literary authors and works. A drawback is that the overview on Spanish covers only literature from Spain, and no overview for Hispanic literature from Latin America is provided. Although there are entries on individual writers and on contributions to translation studies from that region, this omission seems particularly striking considering the vast proliferation of and interest in Hispanic American literature in recent decades. (Also curiously missing is Carlos Fuentes.) Nevertheless, this work is recommended for academic and larger public libraries. Anna Youssefi, Rice Univ., Houston
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

"A rose is a rose is a rose"--unless, of course, it is a rose (or even some other flower) in another language. That oversimplifies but also typifies the problem facing translators striving to remain faithful to the spirit of the original while at the same time presenting its particulars with accuracy. This very specialized encyclopedia's 600 articles probe that problem as played out in translations from significant languages into English and in the translations of works of individual authors whose creations have been translated into English.

Nearly every reader of a literary work translated into English reads with the disadvantage of not being able to judge the fidelity of the translation. The encyclopedia helps those dependent upon translations to make that assessment. Its articles on Georges Bernanos, Cicero, Gustave Flaubert, Homer, Czeslaw Milosz, Aleksandr Pushkin, Shiga Naoya, Jules Verne, and other authors follow a pattern consisting of brief biography, a bibliography of works translated into English, a signed essay, and a bibliography of additional items for "further reading." The essays identify the challenges specific works and authors pose for translators and the quality of the work of the translators who have taken these on. For example, the essay on Homer analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of translations by Chapman, Dryden, Pope, A. T. Murray, Richard Lattimore, Robert Fitzgerald, and others. Just as knowledge of the body of critical literature on a poem, a play, or a novel can add depth to a reader's experience, these essays assessing translations can also add depth to understanding. In the case of works translated multiple times, they can also help readers select the best translation or at least the translation most congenial to their tastes.

Other types of articles cover the work of significant translators (John Dryden, Ezra Pound) or theorists (Matthew Arnold), major topics (Deconstruction and literary translation, Gender and gender politics in literary translation, Improving on the original), and various languages. Articles on Arabic, Czech, modern Greek, Hungarian, Norwegian, Russian, etc., describe the ease or difficulty with which English and the other language mesh through literary translation and the challenges inherent in conveying into English meaning originally expressed in the other language. All articles also conclude with unannotated reading lists. The volume closes with title, translator, and general indexes.

Mona Baker's The Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation Studies (Routledge, 1998) explores many of the topical areas and examines translation traditions in various languages. However, it does not specifically address the issues involved in translations into English. Encyclopedia of Literary Translation into English complements Baker's work and will meet the needs of advanced students of world literature. REVWR
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 2000 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (December 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1884964362
  • ISBN-13: 978-1884964367
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 8.8 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,750,274 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. Hardin on September 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Without having read through this unfortunately very expensive 2-vol work, I would judge -- based on samplings -- that it provides invaluable information. To give one example, the article dealing with translations of Goethe's works into English would be extremely useful to a teacher of comparative literature who is not familiar with the various translations of Goethe, in particular of his Faust, a work which, as Luke (a translator) points out, must preserve the end rhyme where it is present in the original. This book should be in every scholarly library.
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