An Approach to Translation Criticism

<i>Emma</i> and <i>Madame Bovary</i> in translation

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Lance Hewson's book on translation criticism sets out to examine ways in which a literary text may be explored as a translation, not primarily to judge it, but to understand where the text stands in relation to its original by examining the interpretative potential that results from the translational choices that have been made. After considering theoretical aspects of translation criticism, Hewson sets out a method of analysing originals and their translations on three different levels. Tools are provided to describe translational choices and their potential effects, and applied to two corpora: Flaubert's <i>Madame Bovary </i>and six of the English translations, and Austen's <i>Emma</i>, with three of the French translations. The results of the analyses are used to construct a hypothesis about each translation, which is classified according to two scales of measurement, one distinguishing between "just" and "false" interpretations, and the other between "divergent similarity", "relative divergence", "radical divergence" and "adaptation".

Subjects: Theoretical literature & literary studies; Translation studies

  • Affiliations: 1: ETI, University of Geneva

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