The Translation of Literary Prose

Charlotte Barslund

in The Oxford Handbook of Translation Studies

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199239306
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Linguistics

 The Translation of Literary Prose

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  • Linguistics
  • Translation and Interpretation


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Literary prose translation transfers a story written in one language into another. In doing so the translation seeks to convey the qualities of the original text. Prose translation is a recent arrival in literature. Until 1709 there was no concept of copyright or copyright infringement. Gradually, increase in literacy among readers reassured that the books were accurately translated. In 1791 Alexander Tytler formulated some essential principles in his essay on the principles of translation. Prose translation in the nineteenth century was concerned with what was not published as with what was. In 1946 the Harvill Press was founded to build cultural bridges in Europe following World War II. Prose translation in the twenty-first century involves working with the author. Translators' personal and emotional response is not considered. Published translations are of a very high quality without which, much of the world's literature would be beyond the reach of most readers.

Keywords: literary prose translation; copyright; principles of translation; Harvill Press; published translations; literature

Article.  6150 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Translation and Interpretation

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