Studies in Transformation and Renewal Between Languages
Edited By Kathleen Shields and Michael Clarke
The collection is broad in scope, spanning a variety of languages, cultures and periods, as well as different media and genres. The essays bring diverse questions to a topic rarely directly addressed and map out important areas of enquiry: the translator as an emotional cultural intermediary, the importance of emotion to cognitive meaning, the place of emotion in linguistic reception, and translation itself as a trope whereby emotion can be expressed.
KATHLEEN SHIELDS AND MICHAEL CLARKE - Introduction -1
KATHLEEN SHIELDS AND MICHAEL CLARKE Introduction This collection of essays can be situated in a development that has been underway in our field since the early 1990s, namely the increasing focus on translators themselves: translators as embodied agents, not instruments or conduits. The dominant, ‘classical’ paradigm of the Western tradition had involved an ef facement of the translator’s identity, an assumption underpinned by dualist theories of meaning. Was this simply because Bible translation provided the focus point for much of the thinking that was done in this area? Already, from the mid-1970s, descriptive translation studies brought about a significant change of perspective. Translations were no longer seen as finished products to be compared with the source text and potentially found wanting. Gideon Toury and others found rich material by studying the reception of translations in the worlds of their target languages, along with the behavioural norms implicated in the choices made by the translators.1 In this context Douglas Robinson’s book The Translator’s Turn (1991) marks a shift from general patterns of translators’ choices towards a focus on the person of the individual translator.2 Robinson makes an appeal for ‘a somatics of translation’: in such a model, sense and meaning are grounded not only in cognition but also in bodily sensation. Pursuing the theme of embodiment, he calls for an awareness of what he terms the translator’s ‘limbic system’ as opposed to ‘mentalist categories’.3 1 See, for example, Gideon Toury, Descriptive Translation Studies and Beyond (Amsterdam: Benjamins, 1995); Theo Hermans, ed....
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