Book reviewTranslation and Empire: Postcolonial Theories Explained Manchester: St. Jerome Publishing, 1997. 131 pp. ISBN 1-900650-08-8 £17.50. (Translation Theories Explained, 4). .
Reviewed by Alexandra Lianeri
Table of contents
Interdisciplinarity appears to be an inevitable expression of the ontological uncertainty and skepticism which characterize contemporary discourses on social and cultural phenomena. Scientific and institutional boundaries which until recent decades separated the study of language, literature and translation from the study of sociocultural processes seem less visible and more elusive than they used to be, while contemporary thinkers seem more doubtful about their explanatory potential and scientific validity. In this context Douglas Robinson's book which aims at illustrating the role of translation in the establishment and justification of colonial enterprise seems to be a fruitful and potentially illuminating product of an epistemological shift already manifested in [ p. 392 ]translation theory since the seventies, rather than a radical dispute about conceptions of translation as a purely linguistic transfer. Yet, Robinson himself locates post-colonial approaches to translation within the discourses of cultural anthropology and history and beyond the field of Translation Studies, on the grounds that the latter is based on a theoretical and methodological framework which lacks social and political orientation.