Who Translates?

Douglas Robinson, Who Translates? Translator Subjectivities Beyond Reason

A series of ruminations on the traditional conception of translation as "other-directed," beginning with a perceived connection between the old chestnut that translators should "step aside and let the source author speak through them" and spirit-channeling: the notion of certain translations as divinely inspired, "written" or dictated by a spirit or an angel of God (the Septuagint, the Vulgate, the Book of Mormon) (chapter 2); studies of ideology based on Althusser's analogy of subjectification as spirit-channeling, with a focus on Martin Heidegger's theory of translation in chapter 3 and Matti Rossi's Marxist translation of King Lear in chapter 4; cognition as an internal pandemonium, following the "neurophilosophical" model of Daniel Dennett (chapter 5); and a "disaggregated-agency" approach to the translator's role in the professional marketplace, based on Adam Smith's notion of "the invisible hand" (chapter 6).

Hardcover $60.50 (ISBN 0-7914-4863-0)
Paper $20.95 (ISBN 0-7914-4864-9)

Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2001


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