Book review
Anthony Pym. Negotiating the frontier: Translators and interculturesin Hispanic history
Manchester: St Jerome, 2000. xii + 265 pp. ISBN hbk.: 1-900650-24-X £39.00 / $68.00./ pbk.: 1-900650-25-8 £19.50 / $34.00

Reviewed by Julio-Cesar Santoyo
Table of contents

Certainly, a book of interest for a broad spectrum of readers, among them (as ismy case) those with a liking for the history of translation and of cross-cultural transfers, particularly in medieval and Renaissance Spain, a land of cultural, linguistic and political boundaries, no doubt, at least since Roman times. Not in vain have there been moments in that history in which translators have worked from or into seven different languages used in the peninsula: Latin, Arabic, Hebrew, Castilian, Catalan, Galician and Aragonese. A book where the author unfolds a historical sequence of cross-cultural transfers, tracing its development from the first ‘school of translators’ in Toledo in the 12th century to present-day university courses in Translation and Interpretation, from King Alfonso X the Wise to the poet Rubén Darío, from the friars who evangelized the New World to the Barcelona Olympic Games in 1992, from the 16th [ p. 186 ]century religious exiles and their biblical versions to the translated anthologies at the beginning of the 20th century... As Pymstates in the very first paragraph, “our case studies will go from the twelfth-century Christian, Islamic, and Jewish exchanges right through to the not unrelated complexity of today’s translation schools in Spain”. And all well basted and tacked up with interpretations of the cases he studies, where he tries to show, quite ingeniously at times, how throughout the centuries many of those ‘facts of translation’ have been the final outcome of interactions, intermediaries, mediated understanding, and negotiation strategies and processes at both sides of Spain’s cultural (i.e., religious, political, academic and linguistic) frontiers.

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