By nature a transdisciplinary area of inquiry, translation lends itself to being investigated at its intersection with other fields of study. Translation and Literary Studies seeks to highlight the manifold connections between translation and notions of gender, dialectics, agency, philosophy and power. The volume also offers a timely homage to renowned translation theorist Marilyn Gaddis Rose, who was at the forefront of the group of scholars who initiated and helped to institutionalize translation studies. Inspired by Gaddis Rose’s work, and particularly by her concept of stereoscopic reading, the volume is dynamically complementary to the burgeoning contemporary field of global comparative literature, underscoring the diversity of critical literary thought and theory worldwide. Arranged thematically around questions of translation as literary and cultural criticism, as epistemology, and as poetics and politics, and dealing with works within and beyond the Western tradition, the essays in the volume illustrate the multi-voiced spectrum of literary translation studies today.
Translation and literary criticism have always been interdependent. But in the late 20th century, postmodernist literary criticism and European philosophy have used translation as a key to literary theory. This text shows how translation may also be used as a tool for critical analysis and teaching of literature. Topics discussed include the translations of Camus, Baudelaire, Poe, Stendhal and Flaubert, demonstrating that translation not only reveals inaccessible aspects of literary criticism but also challenges readers with a provisional boundary, an interliminal space of sound, allusion and meaning. In this space readers must collaborate, criticize and rewrite the text, thus enriching their experience of literature.
This inaugural volume transcends its archival value. Indeed, taken as a whole, the essays pose a provocation for both translation practice and theory. The criteria proposed and the issues examined remain the same. Absolute excellence, however, continues to move beyond the horizon, and changes in technology and taste inevitably change both the implementation of the criteria and the evaluation of the issues. The attendant ambiguities may stem from a parenthesis in the volume: does excellence lie in the "X-factor that elusive quality which renders one translation clearly superior to others"?