Preeminent in a relatively rare category of separate early modern treatises on translation, the 1683 De optimo genere interpretandi by the polymath cleric Pierre-Daniel Huet (1630-1721) offers a concise introduction to its nature, history, theory, process and practice.
Written in the form of a Ciceronian dialogue, On the best kind of translating not only represents Huet's acute and witty defence of the often disparaged literal or word for word model, but also provides illuminating glimpses into the critical and interpretive methods of his age. A guiding premise of this first modern edition and annotated translation of Huet's entire treatise is that, now as then, translation theory and practice are complementaries. Consistent also with this premise is the conscious attempt by DeLater to apply Huet's literal translation model at every stage in the process of producing this annotated translation of his treatise. Among the topics treated in Huet's work are: (1) a definition of translation and its relationship to interpretation; (2) adaptation of translation aims and methods to the subject matter of the original; (3) the translating and glossing of idioms, proverbs, metaphors, puns and ambiguities; (4) translators' priorities, from sense and words to the elusive quality that makes a translation seem an original work; and (5) translation as an independent theoretical discipline. In addition to providing an introduction to Huet's life and works as well as explanatory glosses for his copious sources and various topics in the DOGI, the present work also supplies links between Huet's work and that of current theorists and critics in the field of translation studies.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Huet's De optimo genere interpretandi (1661; 1680; 1683): several views of its importance and neglect as a source for translation history
Chapter 2: Huet's life, career and works
Chapter 3: De optimo genere interpretandi (1661; 1680; 1683) : its genesis and publication history
Chapter 4: DOGI : its ancient and medieval sources
Chapter 5: DOGI: two early modern sources for the work: Leonardo Bruni's De interpretatione recta (c. 1426) Girolamo Catena's Discorso Sopra la traducttione (1581)
Chapter 6: DOGI: its structure and setting
Chapter 7: Implicit aims and purposes of the DOGI
Chapter 8: Two instances in the reception history of the DOGI: France and England
Chapter 9: Prefatory remarks on the present translation, text, and their critical apparatus
First Book of: On the best kind of translating
LIBER PRIMUS, DE OPTIMO GENERE INTERPRETANDI
Reference Works and Abbreviations
James Albert DeLater received a PhD from the University of Washington (1997), where he studied English, comparative literature and translation. He has worked as a technical and medical translator, and taught at Portland State University, Oregon, and Saint Paul's College, Virginia. He currently teaches at Hillsdale College, Michigan.