Translation and Creativity: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Translation and Creativity

1st Edition

By Kirsten Malmkjær


130 pages | 3 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2019-08-07
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Kirsten Malmkjær argues that translating can and should be considered a valuable art form. Examining notions of creativity and their relationship with translation and focusing on how the originality of translation is manifest in texts, the author explores a range of texts and their translations, in order to illustrate original as opposed to derivative translation.

With reference to thirty translators’ discourses on their source texts and the author’s own experience of translating a short text, Malmkjær explores the theory of creativity, philosophical aesthetics, the philosophy of language, experimental and theoretical translation studies, and translators’ discourses on their work. Showing the relevance of these varied topics to the study of translating and translations underlines their complexity and the immensity of understanding that is regularly invested in translations.

This work proposes a complete rethinking of the concepts of creativity and originality, as applied to translation, and is vital reading for advanced students and researchers in translation studies and comparative literature.


'With Kantian elegance, Malmkjær’s clever and beautiful argument brings into thought the aesthetic pleasures that we translators feel but that are commonly not supposed to exist. She identifies an unsung creativity that respects the translation form and can be found in our everyday work.'

Anthony Pym, University of Melbourne, Australia

'Kirsten Malmkjær can always be relied on to produce interesting, innovative and thought-provoking writing. The current volume is no exception: engaging, informed and insightful. I highly recommend it to readers.'

Mark Shuttleworth, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong

'If you ever thought translation involved re-creation rather than creation, you will have to rethink after reading Malmkjær’s fine book. She tests translation against all the known criteria of creativity and finds that translation meets them all and is a supremely creative activity.'

Arnt Lykke Jakobsen, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark

Table of Contents

List of Figures



1. Definitions of creativity

2. Translation in the context of definitions of creativity

3. Accounts of the translating process

4.: Creativity in translating and translations

5. Afterword


About the Author

Kirsten Malmkjær has taught at the universities of Birmingham, Cambridge, Middlesex, and Leicester, UK. She has lectured extensively abroad, and published widely in translation studies.

Subject Categories

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