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.
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
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
Idioms and metaphors
B. The translator as Münchhausen
Illusion and contradiction or the art of the impossible
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
Chapter V: Hot Tin Roofs, Squeaking Snow and Other Cultural Biotopes
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?
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
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.
...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)