The Translator's Invisibility: A History of Translation, 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Translator's Invisibility

A History of Translation, 2nd Edition

By Lawrence Venuti

© 2008 – Routledge

324 pages

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About the Book

Since publication over ten years ago, The Translator’s Invisibility has provoked debate and controversy within the field of translation and become a classic text. Providing a fascinating account of the history of translation from the seventeenth century to the present day, Venuti shows how fluency prevailed over other translation strategies to shape the canon of foreign literatures in English and investigates the cultural consequences of the receptor values which were simultaneously inscribed and masked in foreign texts during this period. The author locates alternative translation theories and practices in British, American and European cultures which aim to communicate linguistic and cultural differences instead of removing them.

In this second edition of his work, Venuti:

  • clarifies and further develops key terms and arguments
  • responds to critical commentary on his argument
  • incorporates new case studies that include: an eighteenth century translation of a French novel by a working class woman; Richard Burton's controversial translation of the Arabian Nights; modernist poetry translation; translations of Dostoevsky by the bestselling translators Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky; and translated crime fiction
  • updates data on the current state of translation, including publishing statistics and translators’ rates.

The Translator’s Invisibility will be essential reading for students of translation studies at all levels.

Lawrence Venuti is Professor of English at Temple University, Philadelphia. He is a translation theorist and historian as well as a translator and his recent publications include: The Scandals of Translation: Towards an Ethics of Difference and The Translation Studies Reader, both published by Routledge.


"One of today's premier translation theorists, Venuti (Temple Univ.) focuses his translation-theory lens on globalization…An engaging and valuable investigation into the trends and mechanics of translation." -- C.M. DiFranco, Choice

Praise for the first edition:

'Starting with the English translations of Catullus and concluding with the translations created by Robert Lowell and Zukofsky, Venuti tries to show how the theory and practice of translating literary works has been enacted throughout the centuries.' - World Literature Today

' … Lawrence Venuti's prose is generally natural, idiomatic and precise. Fluent, even.' - Times Literary Supplement

Table of Contents

Invisibility. Canon. Nation. Dissidence. Margin. Simpatico. Call to Action

Subject Categories

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