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Performing Without a Stage: The Art of Literary Translation Hardcover – May 1, 1998
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From The Washington Post
...a passionate, enthralling new book ... Throughout, the tone is conversational, jargon-free, sometimes angry and frequently funny.... Above all, this book is quite inspiring.
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This book will help readers understand what translation is all about, and will help translators put into words many of their deepest feelings.
* Translators get a stage, and the tidbits about life as a translator are insightful and accurate; such as the lack of appreciation, the anonymity in modern times, the pitiful pay.
* I loved the excursions into the history of translation, and how our views have changed over time, as to what the purpose and fulfillment of translation are.
* I enjoyed the conversation about faithfulness to content versus form.
* There are many nuggets of insight and information for those with the patience to unearth them.
* Excursions into poetry, as translators of poetry are probably the least known and appreciated of all translators.
What did not work for me:
* The book felt fragmented and got lost in unimportant details and detours, without a clear "story" to follow, which made it difficult to stay engaged.
* There was missing a chapter that pragmatically introduces the profession and its facets. For example, scientific and legal translators usually have a college degree in their chosen subject. In addition to poetry and literature, translators translate user interface text, code comments, birth certificates, textbooks, and scientific articles.
* It would have been interesting if the author had talked more about the process of translating, the actual work that is done, what can go into finding (or inventing) the right work or expression.
* References to the end notes should be numbered.
The book provides wonderful references, resources and magnificent examples of all that involved in translation and I highly recommend this book for both translators and students who want to truly understand the meaning and value of this literary art.