Holmströömprovides a superb survey of the minefield of translation and translation theory in India where so much Indian literature has been translated into English for an internal audience, with the inevitable marginalizing of the various dialects, particularlythose of the ‘untouchables’; the CzechtranslatorJríí Josekexplorestheconstantreinventionof Shakespeare through endless translations; Susan Bassnett outlinesthehistoricimportancetranslationhasalwayshadfor poets andconsiders whyrespect for translationhas declined; JosephineBalmershowshowcentral scholarshipisinenabling theclassical translatorliterallytoreconstruct translationfrom mere fragments andMichael Hanne offers a well-referenced essayontheuseof metaphorintranslation. Interwoven throughout the book are also wide-ranging views about translationbornevariouslyout of practiceand/or theory. Kenda is particularlyamusingwhenhe describes his annoyance at theoreticians whoexpress views he has already reachedindependently: ‘Nidawasnotonlytalkingaboutideas whichI had toworkratherhard for. He, likeSteiner, evenused mywords.’ Thebook’smostradical theoreticianisCliveScott, whotakesus throughsomewonderful intellectual gymnastics as wearerequiredtoseethings three- (or evenfour-) dimensionally, with translationasprocessratherthanproduct, evenif itisdifficulttoswitchoff thehabitof readingpoemsasfixed. Afurther real strengthinthe bookis the illustrations of work in progress such as in, say, Peter Bush’s and John Rutherford’s essays. Anna Paterson’s examples of her work on Kerstin Ekmans’ nature description are absolute gems, describingaforestworldthatisominousandthreatening:
Theforest floweredonheedlessly, longafter thenamers hadbeensilenced, roots twistingthroughtheir gaping mouths; itflowered,known andnamedonlybythosewho hummedandclickedandtwittered, filledbytherustleof wingsandrattleof clawsandthudsof antlersagainstthe treetrunks.