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This review is taken from PN Review 64, Volume 15 Number 2, November - December 1988.

Translation Review, edited by Raine Schulte and Dennis Kratz (University of Texas at Dallas) $20.00 p.a.
Raine Schulte opens the recent 'Special Theory Issue' of Translation Review with pronouncements on the aims, possibilities, and advantages of elaborating a theory of translation. Awareness of the procedures of translating and 'a systematic assessment of these [procedural] methodologies' could revitalize literary criticism by reconnecting readers with primary texts. The study of the translator's art, of multiple translations of a text and of its relation to the interpretive act should also lead to the development of 'criteria for a systematic exploration of methodologies that promote the interdisciplinary character of translation'.

Schulte finds the penchant for 'theory as practice' over 'theory as speculation about practice' to be all too prevalent. The majority of the essays in this magazine deal specifically with the practice of translation, in other words, 'theory as practice'. There is an interview about the actual techniques of a specific translator (Marion Peter Holt) and two essays on the uses of translation as didactic and heurístic tools.

David Caldwell uses his experience of translating essays by Peter Szondi on Celan to illustrate the difficulties inherent in the translating of secondary literature. The translator must find a means to communicate the untranslatable polysemous elements and irreproduceable rhymes in passages from a primary work without an excess of footnotes or parenthetical insertions. Caldwell also examines the necessity of studying both multiple translations for exhaustive literary criticism and literary criticism for 'insightful' translation. His analysis, however, does not move beyond these basic tenets of practice. He concludes weakly, 'It ...


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