Forms and functions of anthologies of translations into French in the nineteenth century

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This contribution opens with a proposal to approach the concepts of “collection” and “anthology” from a generic viewpoint that includes a.o. features of editorial and translational genericity. Both concepts are then replaced in their historical context, i.e. the French 19th century. Definitions, descriptions, synonyms and similar terms are drawn from contemporary dictionaries and encyclopaedias, such as the Grand dictionnaire universel du XIXe siècle by Pierre Larousse. Viewed from a historical angle, the concepts of anthology and collection appear to have served as prototypes, more particularly as interdisciplinary and multifunctional categories covering a large array of conceptual and terminological variants applied to both original and translated groupings of texts. The last part of the paper gives a detailed account of French translation anthologies and collections during the period 1810–1840: it is shown that these forms adapt with great flexibility to the different disciplines, languages, genres and publishers that make use of them.


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