The translator's turn test

Douglas Robinson

Despite landmark works in translation studies such as George Steiner's After Babel and Eugene Nida's The Theory and Practice of Translation, most of what passes as con-temporary "theory" on the subject has been content to remain largely within the realm of the anecdotal. Not so Douglas Robinson's ambitious book, which, despite its author's protests to the contrary, makes a bid to displace (the deconstructive term is apposite here) a gamut of earlier cogitations on the subject, reaching all the way back to Cicero, Augustine, and Jerome. Robinson himself sums up the aim of his project in this way: "I want to displace the entire rhetoric and ideology of mainstream translation theory, which ... is medieval and ecclesiastical in origin, authoritarian in intent, and denaturing and mystificatory in effect."

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