New books at a glance
Rosa Rabadán. Equivalencia y traducción: Problemática de la equivalencia translémica inglés-español
León: Universidad de León, 1991. 345 pp. ISBN 84-7719-2545-5

Reviewed by Ilse Logie

Table of contents

    Rosa Rabadán's book belongs to the flood of publications on translation studies (she prefers "translemics") that has been inundating Spain lately. From the rather lengthy historical survey with which the book starts, we can gather that according to Rabadán this "science" needs new impulses. From her point of view the best source of inspiration is the polysystem theory as conceived by the Tel Aviv school (Even-Zohar, Toury), which attempts to explain how literature works in terms of an open and broad semiotic background. Rabadán subscribes to the dynamic ideas of these theorizers, which contrast productively with the abstract linguistic models that were applied too mechanically to the translation process in the sixties and seventies. Even though Rabadán's ostensible subject is the translatability of English texts into Spanish, she soon concludes that focusing on this problem is futile: if a text has been translated, translatable. Thus translation studies have to liberate themselves from a priori assumptions and move into the substantively different research territory of praxis; however, this is not incompatible at all with a rigorous analysis of translation. Rabadán neatly summarizes all approaches in this functionally inspired frame of reference.

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