Book reviewTranslation, Power, Subversion Clevedon, Philadelphia, Adelaide: Multilingual Matters, 1996. iv + 157 pp. ISBN 1-85359-350-8 £ 13.95; USD 24.95 (Topics in Translation Series, 8).
Reviewed by Michael Cronin
At the turn of the new century, the hermeneutics of suspicion are everywhere in translation studies; power, manipulation, invisibility are the new figures of enquiry that challenge the rhetoric of subservient neutrality in translation discourse. Translation, Power, Subversion, a collection of essays edited by two translation scholars from the University of Salamanca (Spain), is clearly situated by the editors in an approach to translation pioneered by André Lefevere, Susan Bassnett and Lawrence Venuti. Indeed both Bassnett and Lefevere have essays in the collection alongside those by Theo Hermans, Edwin Gentzler, Javier Franco Aixelá, Ovidio Carbonell and Enrique Alcaraz. Collections with contributions from different authors always run the danger of eclectic incoherence. Though there is a community of theoretical sympathy that unites [ p. 373 ]the translation scholars in the present collection, it is not always clear who the intended audience is. The essay by Enrique Alcaraz on translation and pragmatics, for example, seems to be aimed mainly at an undergraduate audience with little prior knowledge of linguistic theory, while Theo Hermans’ “Norms and the Determination of Translation: A Theoretical Framework” is a theoretically sophisticated contribution that would be of primary interest to translation researchers.