Book reviewTranslation and identity London/New York: Routledge, 20062006. x + 166 pp. ISBN 0-415-36465-5 21.99 £ (Translation and Interpreting Studies). .
Reviewed by Alexandra Lianeri
Athens and Thessaloniki
Table of contents
This book begins with the contention that translation must be placed at the centre of any attempt to reflect on the question of identity in human societies. It ends with a polemical defence of the role of translations in fostering diversity within the contemporary frames of globalisation and cosmpolitanism. Between these two poles lies the dual viewpoint from which Cronin explores the relationship between translation and identity formation. On the one hand, the book considers translation as the site wherein all historical communities construct their identities by recognising what lies beyond their limits. On the other hand, the terms that sustain this recognition are critically deployed to approach the problem of identity and identity politics in the present. Indeed, Translation and identity is less a general treatise on the relationship announced in its title and more an attempt to theorise translation as an entry point into the modes by which identity has emerged as a key way of articulating cross-cultural and political communication. As such the book is no less a critical intervention in debates taking place today in cultural studies and political theory, than it is an attempt to bring these debates to bear upon concepts and research methods deployed in the field of translation studies.