Limits of freedom: Agency, choice and constraints in the work of the translator
Translators’ agency has been under increasing attention lately, from several different viewpoints and using different kinds of data. The present paper is an attempt at outlining concrete day-to-day routines and decision-making of two translators in Finland, one in the late 19th century and the other in the mid-20th century, on the basis of their correspondence and other documents. The study of their lives can shed light on issues such as the selection (or rejection) of books to be translated, translation strategies, the use of source texts and versions, typographical and layout design, and fees. I will outline the interaction between the translators and their publishers and readers and explore the issues which determine the balance between individual agency and collective norms.