The Translator's Invisibility: A History of Translation

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Routledge, 2008 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 319 pages

Since publication over ten years ago, The Translator's Invisibility has provoked debate and controversy within the field of translation and become a classic text. Providing a fascinating account of the history of translation from the seventeenth century to the present day, Venuti shows how fluency prevailed over other translation strategies to shape the canon of foreign literatures in English and investigates the cultural consequences of the receptor values which were simultaneously inscribed and masked in foreign texts during this period. The author locates alternative translation theories and practices in British, American and European cultures which aim to communicate linguistic and cultural differences instead of removing them.

In this second edition of his work, Venuti:

  • clarifies and further develops key terms and arguments
  • responds to critical commentary on his argument
  • incorporates new case studies that include: an eighteenth century translation of a French novel by a working class woman; Richard Burton's controversial translation of the Arabian Nights; modernist poetry translation; translations of Dostoevsky by the bestselling translators Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky; and translated crime fiction
  • updates data on the current state of translation, including publishing statistics and translators' rates.

The Translator's Invisibility will be essential reading for students of translation studies at all levels.

Lawrence Venuti is Professor of English at Temple University, Philadelphia. He is a translation theorist and historian as well as a translator and his recent publications include: The Scandals of Translation: Towards an Ethics of Difference and The Translation Studies Reader, both published by Routledge.



Chapter 1 Invisibility
Chapter 2 Canon
Chapter 3 Nation
Chapter 4 Dissidence
Chapter 5 Margin
Chapter 6 Simpatico
Chapter 7 Call to action

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