The Age of Translation : A Commentary on Walter Benjamin’s ‘The Task of the Translator' book cover
1st Edition

The Age of Translation
A Commentary on Walter Benjamin’s ‘The Task of the Translator'

ISBN 9781138886315
Published August 10, 2018 by Routledge
226 Pages

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Book Description

The Age of Translation is the first English translation of Antoine Berman’s commentary on Walter Benjamin’s seminal essay ‘The Task of the Translator’. Chantal Wright’s translation includes an introduction which positions the text in relation to current developments in translation studies, and provides prefatory explanations before each section as a guide to Walter Benjamin’s ideas. These include influential concepts such as the ‘afterlife’ of literary works, the ‘kinship’ of languages, and the metaphysical notion of ‘pure language’. The Age of Translation is a vital read for students and scholars in the fields of translation studies, literary studies, cultural studies and philosophy.

Table of Contents


Translator’s introduction by Chantal Wright

Some textual notes on the translation of Antoine Berman’s commentary

Texts by Walter Benjamin discussed in The Age of Translation

French editor’s note by Isabelle Berman

My seminars at the Collège by Antoine Berman


Cahier 1

The metaphysics of language

Five characteristics of Benjamin’s thought

Benjamin as translator

‘The Task of the Translator: A prologue’


Cahier 2

Cahier 3

Cahier 4

Cahier 5

Cahier 6

Cahier 7

Cahier 8

Cahier 9

Cahier 10


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Chantal Wright is Associate Professor at the University of Warwick. She is the author of Literary Translation (Routledge, 2016).


'This is an enormously important work for philosophy and translation studies alike. Wright’s translation and commentary, erudite and unusually self-reflective, illuminate the complex epistemological questions that ground both Berman’s text and his gloss of Benjamin. Wright not only presents Berman’s work as foundational and eminently topical, but persuasively advances the intrinsic relevance of reflecting on translation in philosophical terms.'

Michelle Bolduc, University of Exeter, UK