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Literary Translation: A Practical Guide Paperback – Sep 28 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 230 pages
  • Publisher: Multilingual Matters (Sept. 28 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1853595195
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853595196
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 14.6 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 299 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #418,511 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By A Customer on April 16 2004
Format: Paperback
The author's purpose, he says in the preface, is to provide guidelines to "work our way through, to use a Borgesian metaphor, the seemingly infinite labyrinth of forking paths" (read choices) in doing a literary translation. Additionally, his is "a practical, not a theoretical guide. While I have no quarrel with theorists, in theory at least, this is a get-your-hands-dirty, wrestle-with-reality type of book." Its content speaks to Landers's success in achieving his goal. He sets the brisk, colloquial, and often irreverent tone on the opening page, where he reproduces his translation of a "Night Drive," a chilling vignette by the noted Brazilian writer Rubem Fonseca. From there he deals, often episodically, with questions of technique such as: Getting started, stages of translation, fluency and transparency, adaptation vs. translation, tone, register, and other topics beginning and more experienced translators need to know. There are also items not to be found in more conventional texts: A day in the life of a literary translation, the hijacked author, when not to translate cultural cues, fiction and footnotes, pornography or "pornography?", English before there was English, and my favorite, "stalking the treacherous typo." In the book's less exciting but necessary final section, "The Working Translator," Landers deals with more mundane matters-e.g., translator's tools such as dictionaries and reference books, taxes, setting a fee, workspaces, contracts, and copyright. Several typographical errors (one of the most amusing is Stewart Potter for Potter Stewart) will hopefully be corrected in a future edition, and an index would have been useful. Still, this is the most up-to-date and readable of any work aiming at the would-be literary translator.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
A useful, readable manual for translators April 16 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The author's purpose, he says in the preface, is to provide guidelines to "work our way through, to use a Borgesian metaphor, the seemingly infinite labyrinth of forking paths" (read choices) in doing a literary translation. Additionally, his is "a practical, not a theoretical guide. While I have no quarrel with theorists, in theory at least, this is a get-your-hands-dirty, wrestle-with-reality type of book." Its content speaks to Landers's success in achieving his goal. He sets the brisk, colloquial, and often irreverent tone on the opening page, where he reproduces his translation of a "Night Drive," a chilling vignette by the noted Brazilian writer Rubem Fonseca. From there he deals, often episodically, with questions of technique such as: Getting started, stages of translation, fluency and transparency, adaptation vs. translation, tone, register, and other topics beginning and more experienced translators need to know. There are also items not to be found in more conventional texts: A day in the life of a literary translation, the hijacked author, when not to translate cultural cues, fiction and footnotes, pornography or "pornography?", English before there was English, and my favorite, "stalking the treacherous typo." In the book's less exciting but necessary final section, "The Working Translator," Landers deals with more mundane matters-e.g., translator's tools such as dictionaries and reference books, taxes, setting a fee, workspaces, contracts, and copyright. Several typographical errors (one of the most amusing is Stewart Potter for Potter Stewart) will hopefully be corrected in a future edition, and an index would have been useful. Still, this is the most up-to-date and readable of any work aiming at the would-be literary translator.
Useful, easy to follow, a good choice! Nov. 14 2013
By Laura Herrlein - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book deals with most of the topics a translator is interested in. It is abundant in examples, what makes it clear and straightforward. Very useful.
IS OK April 1 2013
By Alejandra Ayala - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is more a guide for getting your works published than anything else, I was looking for something more hands on translation, but felt a but disappointing that this wasn't the case.
Thank you for writing this March 5 2013
By Jody - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm reading this book now, and I am just so grateful for it. I just finished translating a "self help" book for a publisher, and that project was fun and easy. The next book they assigned me to translate (from Hebrew to English) is a historical novel, and as soon as I read the first page I realized that translating it would be a different experience altogether. I started to do some research online to see if I could find tips on translating a novel. When I came across this book I immediately ordered the Kindle version, and I'm so glad I did. I'm not even half way through, but I am so enjoying it I wanted to come here and tell people. Lovely book and enjoyable read in its own right even if you don't want to translate literature! Okay, maybe that's just me, but I appreciate so much of what I've read so far, and it's already immeasurably helped me. I'll feel ready to start my new project armed with some sense of what it really means to translate literature. So thank you again.
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Just a practical guide. Not suitable for research. Nov. 15 2012
By H. Flores - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although it has some interesting insights about literary translation, the effort of compiling all that empirical research lacks the rigor of an academic research, which would have made it more interesting and much more useful!

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