Book review
Dirk Delabastita, ed. Wordplay & Translation. Special Issue of The Translator: Studies in Intercultural Communication 2
(2) Manchester: St Jerome Publishing, 1996. 353 pp. ISBN 1-900650-01-00 £ 28.00
Dirk Delabastita, ed. Traductio: Essays on Punning and Translation
Manchester-Namur: St Jerome Publishing-Presses Universitaires de Namur, 1997. vii + 296 pp. ISBN 1-900650-06-01 (St Jerome) / 2-87037-242-6 (PUN).

Reviewed by Delia Chiaro
Univ. of Bologna
Table of contents

The pun must surely be the only linguistic feature which is so inextricably linked to its source language as to flummox language learners, create havoc with electronic parsers and seriously challenge translators. Yet the pun is a ubiquitous textual phenomenon. Not only does it occur, as one might expect, in jokes, riddles, quips, and witty asides, but also in text types as disparate as newspaper headlines, book and film titles; advertisements and slogans; greeting cards and graffiti as well as shop, restaurant and pub names, to mention but a few occurrences. Furthermore, as far as literature is concerned, many writers have tried their hand at word play. From the great punsters of literature such as Shakespeare, Dante, Boccaccio, Nabokov, Ionesco and Joyce to possibly lesser known, but financially successful wits like Britain’s Jilly Cooper and Italy’s Stefano Benni, it is far easier to think of authors who have had a go at playing with language than those who have not.

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