1st Edition

Translators on Translation Portraits of the Art

By Kelly Washbourne Copyright 2024
    268 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    268 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This is a book in pursuit of translators' philosophies or personal theories of translation. From Vladimir Nabokov and William Carlos Williams to Ursula Le Guin and Langston Hughes, Translators on Translation coaxes each subject's reflections on their art, their particular view of translation, and how they carry out their specific form of translation.

    The translators’ intellectual biographies expand our understanding of their views, often in their own words, on the aesthetic, political, and philosophical nature of translation; lend insight into their translation decision-making on specific works; afford critical summaries and contextualizations of their key theoretical and theoretico-practical works; unearth their figurative conceptualizations of translation; and construct their subject identities.  As a person's body of work can be diffuse, scattered, fragmentary, and contradictory, inner lives have to be constructed and reconstructed. Through a recovery and narrativizing of their writing and speaking on translation, their interviews, paratextual commentary, letters, lecture notes, even fiction and poetry, these late twentieth-century subjects answer the question, What is translation to you?

    The book is supported by additional translators’ profiles and selected translations on the Routledge Translation Studies portal. Translators on Translation is key reading for courses on translation practice, translation history, translation theory and creative writing courses that engage in translation while also being vital reading for practising literary translators.

    Acknowledgments and Dedication

    Introduction: Bring It All Back Home

    1.       William Carlos Williams (1883-1963, American)

    2.       Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977, Russian-American)

    3.       Langston Hughes (1901-1967, American)

    4.       Barbara Wright (1915-2009, British)

    5.       Christopher Middleton (1926-2015, British)

    6.       Robert Bly (1926-2021, American)

    7.       Burton Raffel (1928-2015, American)

    8.       Ursula K. Le Guin (1928-2015, American)

    9.       David Tod Roy (1933-2016, American)

    10.    Clayton Eshleman (1935-2021, American)

    11.    Anthea Bell (1936-2018, British)

    12.    John Felstiner (1936-2017, American)

    13.    Seamus Heaney (1939-2013, Irish)

    14.    Dennis Tedlock (1939-2016, American)

    15.    Barbara Godard (1942-2010, Canadian)

    16.    Carol Maier (1943-2020, American)

    17.    Barbara Johnson (1949-2009, American)

    Conclusion: Past is Prologue

    Questions for discussion




    Kelly Washbourne is Professor of Spanish at Kent State University (Ohio, United States). His publications include Nobel Laureate Miguel Ángel Asturias’ Legends of Guatemala, and The Routledge Handbook of Literary Translation. He recently translated El Criticón (1651-1657), an allegorical novel by Baltasar Gracián.