Book reviewOver het nut en de wijze der vertalingen. Nederlandse vertaalreflectie (1750–1820) in een Westeuropees kader. Amsterdam-Atlanta, GA: Rodopi, 1992. 300 pp. ISBN 90-5183-411-X Hfl. 45,-..
Reviewed by Patrick De Rynck
Table of contents
The second half of the 18th century and particularly the first decades of the 19th century have traditionally been considered a period where on a European scale major shifts in translation theory and practice took place: generally spoken, the 'adaptive' approach was gradually replaced by a more 'accurate' one. For Luc Korpel, the author of the dissertation at hand, the depiction of Dutch translations by Dutch literary historians forms a point of departure and (contrastive) background for her own investigation. The dominant attitude of many of them, she correctly states, was to consider translation apart from the 'original' literature, not as an integral part of the literary enterprise. Even worse: 20th-century standards were often applied a historically to 18th and 19th century translations which had been created in keeping with other guidelines. This "to study translation as part of a larger complex rather than in isolation" (p. 254, English summary) is the major presupposition or axiom of the present investigation: "This study aims at a description of Dutch translation discourse between 1750 and 1820 [= chapter IV, PDR]. Until recently, translation discourse and, to a lesser extent, translation practice have been greatly neglected in Dutch literary historiography [which is illustrated in ch. II, PDR]. The results of my exploration of this terra incognita are compared with contemporary views on translation in Germany, England and France [= ch. V, PDR]" (p. 253).