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Susan Bassnett and Peter Bush (eds) The Translator as Writer Continuum ISBN 0-8264-9995-5-2 pb 240pp, £25

Beware: any text endorsed by Susan Bassnett – well known for her influential Translation Studies – will shake you out of a rut. Here, with Peter Bush, she has provided a mind-bending engagement with various languages, cultures, translations, theories and personal perspectives, allowing us into the souls of translators – variously eccentric, universally passionate, intimate and open with their readers as they pass on anecdotes, practical tips and hints and, most importantly, the particular vision they have for each text they are working on. Their enthusiasm is infectious. The essays all provide a healthy mix of summer reading and research, whether their eighteen writers are employed as academics or professional translators (or both). The tales are engaging because these translators are creative writers and the research is thorough out of respect for the text. Thus, we have Anthea Bell telling us she wasn’t really qualified to translate but just needed to ‘get at the books’ while John Rutherford provides a mouth-watering description of the idyllic spot in Galicia which got him out of his ‘translator’s block’ over Don Quixote. Juan Gabriel Lóópez Guix wins the prize for eccentricity with his hilarious Mad Hatter’s tea party held for the forty-plus translators of Alice in Wonderland to mull over selected extracts. Meanwhile, Jakob Kenda’s career in children’s literature was apparently inspired by professor Kodre’s fine translations of the dreadful Vogan poetry of A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – ‘drankle me with crinkley bindlewurdle’ – into Slovenian. The book is certainly wide-ranging: Bill Findlay tracks the decline of vernacular Scots theatre and how it has impacted on the use of authentic Scots vernacular for translation; Lakshmi

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