Hijacking Translation

boundary 2

an abstract byLawrence Venuti
Despite the increased attention that translation has received in conjunction with the newly revived topic of “world literature,” translation research and practice remain marginal in Comparative Literature as the field has developed in the United States. The evidence takes various forms, institutional and intellectual, including reports on the state of the field, the curricula of departments and programs, anthologies adopted as textbooks, and recent research that promulgates a discourse of “untranslatability.” Even though Comparative Literature could not exist without the extensive use of translations, relatively few curricula require or even offer courses in translation theory, history, or practice. A key factor in this situation is an instrumental model that treats translation as the (usually inadequate) reproduction of an invariant contained in or caused by the source text, whether its form, meaning, or effect. Instrumentalism preempts a more productive understanding of translation as an interpretive…

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