Book review
Jelle Stegeman. Übersetzung und Leser: Untersuchungen zur Übersetzungsäquivalenz dargestellt an der Rezeption von Multatulis 'Max Havelaar' und seinen deutschen Ubersetzungen.
Berlin-New York: Walter de Gruyter, 1991. xvi + 555 pp. ISBN 3-11-012470-X DM 232,-. (Studia Linguistica Germanica, 30).

Reviewed by Cees Koster
Table of contents

Übersetzung und Leser can be roughly divided into two parts. On the one hand it is a descriptive study of the relationship between one Dutch source text, Multatuli's Max Havelaar, and several of its German translations (Chapters 6-9), while on the other hand it is an attempt to place the entire field of Translation Studies into a communication-theoretical perspective based on the concepts of Siegfried Schmidt's Grundriß der empirischen Literaturwissenschaft (1980) (Chapters 1-5). It is in this part that Stegeman's book proves to be a very ambitious book indeed. Its claim here seems to stop just short of announcing the redemption of Translation Studies as an autonomous discipline. The motivation for this attempt is a familiar one: discontent with the present state of the discipline. But what is Stegeman's conception of Translation Studies? First of all it is not particularly up-to-date. In relation to its subject matter, the book reveals some alarming bibliographical lacunae: even though about 110 items in the bibliography are on the study of translation, only 24 of them are post-1980, and a good half of those are papers from just two 1986 collections: Snell-Hornby's Neuorientierung and House and Blum-Kulka's Interlingual and Intercultural Communication. On the other hand, only one rather marginal article of Toury's is mentioned in the book and the work of the Göttingen research center is totally ignored. In my opinion, this is a serious criticism of an empirical study carried out in the late eighties, and at any rate it puts into perspective statements such as ". . .so begegnet man in den jüngsten Veröffentlichungen zu übersetzten literarischen Werken doch selten neuen theoretischen Auffassungen" (p. 17) and "Nur wenige Veröffentlichungen befassen sich mit der vergleichenden Beschreibung des ursprünglichen Textes und seiner Übersetzung" (p. 28).

Full-text access is restricted to subscribers. Log in to obtain additional credentials. For subscription information see Subscription & Price. Direct PDF access to this article can be purchased through our e-platform.


Delabastita, Dirk
1991 “A False Opposition in Translation Studies: Theoretical versus/and Historical Approaches”. Target 3:2. 137’152.   DOI logoGoogle Scholar
Holmes, James S.
1988Translated!: Papers on Literary Translation and Translation Studies. Amsterdam: Rodopi.Google Scholar
House, Juliane and Shoshana Blum-Kulka
eds. 1986Interlingual and Intercultural Communication: Discourse and Cognition in Translation and Second Language Acquisition Studies. Tübingen: Narr.Google Scholar
Leuven-Zwart, Kitty M. van
1984Vertaling en origineel: Een vergelijkende beschrij-vingsmethode voor integrale vertalingen, ontwikkeld aan de hand van Nederlandse vertalingen van Spaanse narratieve teksten. Dordrecht: Foris.Google Scholar
1989 “Translation and Original: Similarities and Dis-similarities, I”. Target 1:2. 151’181.   DOI logoGoogle Scholar
1990 “Translation and Original: Similarities and Dis-similarities, II”. Target 2:1. 69’95.   DOI logoGoogle Scholar
Schmidt, Siegfried J.
1980Grundriß der empirischen Literaturwissenschaft. Braun-schweig: Vieweg.Google Scholar
[ p. 119 ]
1982Foundations for the Empirical Study of Literature. Hamburg: Buske.Google Scholar
Snell-Hornby, Mary
1986Übersetzungswissenschaft—eine Neuorientierung: Zur Integ-rierung von Theorie und Praxis. Tübingen: Francke.Google Scholar
Toury, Gideon
1985 “A Rationale for Descriptive Translation Studies”. Theo Her-mans, ed. The Manipulation of Literature: Studies in Literary Translation. London and Sydney: Croom Helm 1985 16’41.Google Scholar