Translation as Rewriting

A modern theory for a premodern practice

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Abstract

One definition of translation in contemporary translation theory claimsthat rendering a text from one language into another is in fact a form of rewriting.Although this concept was first articulated in the early 1990s, this paper arguesthat it has much in common with premodern rhetorical ideas of imitation andemulation and can be usefully applied to explain medieval and humanisttranslation practices. To demonstrate this, I analyze premodern hagiographicaland historiographical texts (primarily translations from Greek into Latin) inrelation to Gérard Genette’s concept of hypertextualité and André Lefevere’stheory of translation as rewriting. Juxtaposing modern and premodern theoriesand practices, I identify and describe connections on both a synchronic level –between various premodern writing modes such as historiography and hagiographyand translations of these genres – and a diachronic one, comparing conceptualframeworks from Late Antiquity, the medieval period, and in one instance theRenaissance, with that of contemporary translation theory
Original languageEnglish
JournalRenæssanceforum. Tidsskrift for renæssanceforskning
Volume2018
Issue number14
Pages (from-to)25-49
ISSN1902-5041
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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Premodern
Translation Theory
Medieval Period
Late Antiquity
Historiography
Language
Rendering
Rhetoric
Imitation
Diachrony
1990s
Latin Language

Cite this

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title = "Translation as Rewriting: A modern theory for a premodern practice",
abstract = "One definition of translation in contemporary translation theory claimsthat rendering a text from one language into another is in fact a form of rewriting.Although this concept was first articulated in the early 1990s, this paper arguesthat it has much in common with premodern rhetorical ideas of imitation andemulation and can be usefully applied to explain medieval and humanisttranslation practices. To demonstrate this, I analyze premodern hagiographicaland historiographical texts (primarily translations from Greek into Latin) inrelation to G{\'e}rard Genette’s concept of hypertextualit{\'e} and Andr{\'e} Lefevere’stheory of translation as rewriting. Juxtaposing modern and premodern theoriesand practices, I identify and describe connections on both a synchronic level –between various premodern writing modes such as historiography and hagiographyand translations of these genres – and a diachronic one, comparing conceptualframeworks from Late Antiquity, the medieval period, and in one instance theRenaissance, with that of contemporary translation theory",
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volume = "2018",
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}

Translation as Rewriting : A modern theory for a premodern practice. / Forrai, Réka Erzsebet.

In: Renæssanceforum. Tidsskrift for renæssanceforskning, Vol. 2018, No. 14, 2018, p. 25-49.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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T2 - A modern theory for a premodern practice

AU - Forrai, Réka Erzsebet

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AB - One definition of translation in contemporary translation theory claimsthat rendering a text from one language into another is in fact a form of rewriting.Although this concept was first articulated in the early 1990s, this paper arguesthat it has much in common with premodern rhetorical ideas of imitation andemulation and can be usefully applied to explain medieval and humanisttranslation practices. To demonstrate this, I analyze premodern hagiographicaland historiographical texts (primarily translations from Greek into Latin) inrelation to Gérard Genette’s concept of hypertextualité and André Lefevere’stheory of translation as rewriting. Juxtaposing modern and premodern theoriesand practices, I identify and describe connections on both a synchronic level –between various premodern writing modes such as historiography and hagiographyand translations of these genres – and a diachronic one, comparing conceptualframeworks from Late Antiquity, the medieval period, and in one instance theRenaissance, with that of contemporary translation theory

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