THE SCANDALS OF TRANSLATION Towards an ethics of difference Lawrence Venuti London and New York FOR GEMMA LEIGH VENUTI First published . ETHICS OF DIFFERENCE. Lawrence Venuti. London and New. York: Routledge, , pp. Lawrence Venuti’s book The. Scandals of Translation: Towards. A review and a link to other reviews of The Scandals of Translation by Lawrence Venuti.

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Nonetheless, the risk posed by the marginal position of translation is a cultural narcissism and complacency, an unconcern with the foreign that translatipn only impoverish British and American culture and foster values and policies grounded in inequality and exploitation.

In his correspondence Louys admitted that his intention was to debunk the prevailing concept of scholarship. Current linguistics-oriented approaches lack not only the theoretical assumptions to conceptualize and execute such literary translation projects, but the methodological tools to analyze them. Translation figures hugely in the corporate world, in the international publishing of bestsellers and the unequal patterns of cross- cultural commerce between the hegemonic Northern and Western countries and their others in Africa, Asia, and South America.

These concepts, debates, and curriculum revisions are in many cases concerned with the question of linguistic and cultural difference that lies at the heart of translation: As a result, fluent translation may enable a foreign text to engage a mass readership, even a text from an excluded foreign literature, and thereby initiate a significant canon reformation.

The limitations of linguistics-oriented approaches are perhaps most clear with literary translation in the broad sense, not only literature but texts in the various genres and disciplines that constitute the human sciences, both fiction and nonfiction, and in electronic as well as print media.

And it is further complicated by the diverse forms in which the translation is published, reviewed, read, and taught, producing cultural and political effects that vary with different institutional contexts and social positions. Account Options Sign in.

The Scandals of Translation: Towards an Ethics of Difference

It is trqnslation by the very choice of a foreign text to translate, always an exclusion of other foreign texts and literatures, which answers to particular domestic interests. The English-language canon of Japanese fiction, for example, was maintained for some three decades by a network of translators and institutions.

Moreover, a strategic use of minority elements can remain intelligible to a wide range of readers and so increase the possibility that the translation will cross the boundaries between cultural constituencies, even if it comes to signify different meanings in different groups.


Yoshimoto was published by one of the presses important for creating the academic canon, Grove, but not on the advice of academic specialists: This manifestation can occur through the selection of a text whose form and theme deviate from domestic literary canons.

The most notorious case involves the different English versions of his novel The Joke It continues scanddals forcefully in the development of a translation strategy that rewrites the foreign text in domestic trnslation and discourses, always a choice of certain translaation values to the exclusion of others. Infor example, Alfred Birnbaum, an American journalist who was born in and has lived in Japan since childhood, edited an anthology entitled Monkey Brain Sushi.

Since the popular aesthetic prizes the illusion of reality in literary representations, erasing the distinction between art and life, she preferred the translation to be immediately intelligible so as to seem transparent, untranslated, or simply nonexistent, creating the illusion of originality.

Publishers can thus determine not merely patterns of exchange with foreign cultures, but the range of translation practices devised by translators in the domestic culture. As a result, translation studies get reduced to the formulation of general theories translatioon the description of textual features and strategies.

Translations can precipitate a disciplinary revision because the representations they construct are never seamless or perfectly consistent, but often contradictory, assembled from heterogeneous cultural materials, domestic and foreign, past and present. Nonetheless, it is these conditions and consequences that offer the most compelling reasons for discriminating among the stakes involved in translating and reading translations. You would think that a novel called Passion – by an Italian writer – would ensnare your emotions.

The Scandals of Translation: Towards an Ethics of Difference – Lawrence Venuti – Google Books

venyti A commentary on the Rome Revision described the legal thinking behind this concept: This scandale of authorship is, moreover, masculinist. Here authorship involves a competition with a canonical poet, a game of poetic one-upmanship, in which a text by that poet is imitated through adaptation or translation or plagiarized: And this, I believe, was accomplished.

Among the difficulties is that in this age it is easy to keep a book “in print”, and, more significantly, there is little protection for the author from bad translations. Certainly, it would be advantageous to increase the incentive for translators to bring new works into a language and be properly rewarded for any resulting success. The Labour of his Body, and the Work of his Hands, we may say, are properly his. Norms may be in the first instance linguistic or literary, but they will also include a diverse range of domestic values, beliefs, and social representations which carry ideological force in serving the interests of specific groups.


Yet distinctions can be drawn among the projects. That is why I prefer scandal verse translation. Circulating in the church, the state, and the laarence, a translation can be powerful in maintaining or revising the hierarchy of values in the translating language. A translation practice that rigorously redirects its ethnocentrism is likely to lawrfnce subversive of domestic ideologies and institutions.

This problem is particularly exacerbated in the United States and the United Kingdom, where the volume of translation has remained relatively low throughout the post-World War II period. Any language use is thus a site of power relationships translaiton a language, at any historical moment, is a specific conjuncture of a major form holding sway over minor variables.

Kamja rated it really liked it Feb 05, Over the past two decades, the claim of science has effectively isolated translation studies from precisely the theoretical discourses that would scanadls scholars to draw incisive conclusions from their data while recognizing the constraints of their own cultural situation.

This is not to say that accuracy was sacrificed for readability and literary effect, but that insofar as any translating produces a domestic remainder, adding effects that work only in the domestic language and literature, I made an effort to focus them on a specific genre in English literary history.

In the early s, these books were published in two different areas, each with its own commissioning editor, catalogue, and audience: The fact of translation tends to be ignored even by the most sophisticated scholars who must rely on translated texts in their research and teaching. The history of copyright since the eighteenth century reveals a movement toward reserving for the author the right to copy and circulate his or her work, including the right to license translations of it into foreign languages Kaplan ; Rose And insofar as the translator focusses on the linguistic and cultural constituents of the foreign scandal, translation provokes the fear that kf intention cannot possibly control their meaning and social functioning.