Lawrence Venuti

Lawrence Venuti je profesorom anglickej literatúry na Temple University vo Philadelphii. Tento teoretik a historik translatológie je zároveň prekladateľom z taliančiny, francúzštiny a katalánčiny. Je autorom kníh The Translator’s Invisibility: A History of Translation (1995, 2. vyd., 2008), The Scandals of Translation: Towards an Ethics of Difference (1998), Translation Changes Everything: Theory and Practice (2013), Contra Instrumentalism: A Translation Polemic (2019) a najnovšie Theses on Translation: An Organon for the Current Moment (2019). Zostavoval publikácie Rethinking Translation: Discourse, Subjectivity, Ideology (1992), The Translation Studies Reader (2000; 3. vyd., 2012) a Teaching Translation: Programs, Courses, Pedagogies (2017). Spomedzi jeho prekladateľskej tvorby treba spomenúť najmä dielo Antonie Pozzi Breath: Poems and Letters (2002), antológiu Italy: A Traveler’s Literary Companion (2003), detektívny román Massima Carlotta The Goodbye Kiss (2006), ale aj zbierku skutočných a imaginárnych životopisov Rodolfa Wilcocka, The Temple of Iconoclasts (2014). V roku 2008 sa stal držiteľom ocenenia Robert Fagles Translation Prize za preklad diela Edward Hopper: Poems od Ernesta Farrésa. V roku 2018 získal cenu Northwestern University Global Humanities Translation Prize za preklad Foixovho diela Daybook 1918: Early Fragments. Jeho činnosť podporujú inštitúcie ako Guggenheimova nadácia, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities či Institut Ramon Llull.

Keynote speech:

On a Universal Tendency to Debase Retranslations; or, The Instrumentalism of a Translation Fixation

Some readers prefer an earlier translation in which they encounter a source text, particularly a canonized work, over later versions of the same text. The decisive encounter is so compelling as to establish a deep, enduring attachment that entails denigration or outright rejection of later versions. Insofar as the features by which the attachment is manifested suggest obsessiveness, I will call it a fixation. The responses of readers who become fixated on an earlier translation share features that transcend their memberships in specific linguistic communities and cultural institutions: they prize it for its readability which they construe as an indication of its greater equivalence to the source text. Here they reveal their assumption of an instrumental model–i.e., an understanding of translation as the reproduction or transfer of an invariant contained in or caused by the source text, an invariant form, meaning, or effect. The reader’s fixation can be illuminated by considering the network of intersubjective relations in which the preferred translation is first encountered. A process of identity formation is disclosed. Earlier cases recorded or represented in literary texts enable a more incisive account of the various conditions that shape the reader’s experience: for example, John Keats’s poem, “On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer” (1816) and Vladimir Nabokov’s novel, Pnin (1957). The instrumentalism that underpins the reader’s fixation deserves consideration because it would in effect deny or stop cultural change, innovative interpretation, the very practice of translation.