From St Jerome to Hypertext: Translation in Theory and Practice, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

From St Jerome to Hypertext

Translation in Theory and Practice, 1st Edition

By Per Qvale


8 pages

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From St. Jerome to Hypertext is an ambitious attempt to chart the terrain of literary translation - its history, theory and practice. It examines translation from linguistic, extralinguistic and philosophical perspectives and poses a range of important questions, including: the extent to which a linguistically creative original text should be reduced to fit existing norms in translation; whether translators should render the author's voice or the author's vision; how a translator might bridge the gender gap, generation gap, cultural gap, geographical distance, and distance in time; the way in which one translates texts which are themselves multilingual; whether the Bible is a technical book, a primary source, a drama or a revelation; the impact that processes of internationalization, multimedia communication and technological innovations might have on literature in translation.

Individual chapters offer detailed treatmemnt of topis such as the relationship between author and translator, wordplay and language games, syntax, cultural biotes, understanding and meaning, and the process of translation.


…an impressive achievement … can serve both as a reference book for the student of translation and as a handbook for practising translators. (Janet Garton, In Other Words. The Journal for Literary Translators)

… will undoubtedly open up new areas of research, point to new directions and fields of investigation, and provide a basis for future studies, especially interdiscplinary studies. (Christina Refsum, Vinduet. Journal of Literature)

Table of Contents

From St. Jerome to Hypertext: Contents



Chapter I: The Science of Translation and Translation Studies

A. Translation theory in a historical light

B. Light touches on modern translation theory

C. Translation studies enlightened by theories of science

D. Translation practice

Chapter II: The Author and the Translator

A. The author's creativity and that of the translator

The voice in the reader's ear

Modest or manipulative?

Authorial voice or authorial vision?

Sex change and polygamy

B. The translator's role and that of the author

The translation is an original. The original is a translation

Translating oneself

The author as translator

Courting an audience

C. The writing between the lines and other extralinguistic phenomena

The semiotic context

Bold speech and slanted writing

D. The author as a reference work

Chapter III: Word Play and Language Games

A. Procrustes as a translator

The author stretches the translator bends

Structural obstacles

Lexical material


Idioms and metaphors

B. The translator as Münchhausen

Illusion and contradiction or the art of the impossible

Münchhausen's feat

Strategy or the way it happens?

Ambiguities, obscurities and irritants

Games and their limits

Chapter IV: Syntax A Chapter All of Its Own

A. Syntax and thought

B. Parataxis, hypotaxis and syntactic gaps

C. Dreams, thoughts, quanta and morphic fields

D. Sound-image-sign-writing

Chapter V: Hot Tin Roofs, Squeaking Snow and Other Cultural Biotopes

A. Concepts

Metaphor and thought

Linguistic determinism conceptual differences

B. Biblical concepts and translatorial intervention

C. Cultural correlates and co-ordinates

National character, the disposition of the populus, and tone

All culture is borrowed

Climate, food and clothing

The fool on the hill and other institutions

What's in a name?

Diachronic perspective

Chapter VI: What It's All About

A. Understanding and Meaning

Meaning and significance


The hermeneutic circle and spiral

B. Equivalence a meaningless concept?

Chapter VII: The Process of Translation Mysterium Conjuntionis

A. Hunting for the black box

B. Can the process be conceptualised?

C. Headaches and gut feelings

D. Introspection and thinking aloud

E. From eraser to spell checker

F. From hand-writing to hypertext

Non-Fiction Bibliography

Fiction Bibliography

Name Index

Subject Index

About the Author

Per Qvale has a Ph.D. in literature from the University of Oslo and now works as a literary translator. He has translated nearly a 100 books, both fiction and non-fiction, into Norwegian from English, German and Swedish.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General