Book reviewTranslation effects: The shaping of modern Canadian culture Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press, 2014. 496 pp.
Reviewed by Anna Bogic
Institute of Feminist and Gender Studies, University of Ottawa
It has long been recognized that official bilingualism and translation are defining characteristics of Canadian culture and identity. But what is much less known is the way in which translation is negotiated, contested, manipulated, embraced and put to work behind the scenes of official bilingual policies. Translation Effects: The Shaping of Modern Canadian Culture sets out to fill this important gap: to trace and expose the multifaceted processes of translation that sustain Canadian cultural life on the streets and coffee shops, in the theatres and movies, in literature and politics, in hospitals and courtrooms. As a hefty volume of 496 pages, it is an ambitious endeavour and fairly large in scope. To accomplish this task, the editors, Canadian translation scholars Kathy Mezei, Sherry Simon, and Luise von Flotow, bring together 32 essays, divided into five parts, written by a group of diverse scholars in Translation Studies, Literature, Languages, Canadian Studies, and Drama, many of whom are also translators. The book is driven by the objective to contribute to an alternative history of translation in Canada and to move beyond the well-established institution of official bilingualism.