Usually ships next business day
Shipping options »
List Price $22.95
In Stock

Sympathy for the Traitor: A Translation Manifesto (The MIT Press)

Sympathy for the Traitor: A Translation Manifesto (The MIT Press)

"Why do we need another translation of Homer's Odyssey? How faithful should a translation be to the original? What does that even mean? Does it even matter? (Does anything matter?Sympathy for the Traitor is a dream book for polyglots and monoglots alike who are interested in the impossibilities of literary translation. An ideal introductory text from a prolific translator and engaging stylist."

Spencer R.

See all my recommendations »

Author Mark Polizzotti
Publisher The MIT Press
Publication Date 2018-04-20
Section Literary Crit & Biography / All Staff Suggestions / Non-Fiction Suggestions / Spencer R.
Type New
Format Hardcover
ISBN 9780262037990

An engaging and unabashedly opinionated examination of what translation is and isn't. For some, translation is the poor cousin of literature, a necessary evil if not an outright travesty?summed up by the old Italian play on words, traduttore, traditore (translator, traitor). For others, translation is the royal road to cross-cultural understanding and literary enrichment. In this nuanced and provocative study, Mark Polizzotti attempts to reframe the debate along more fruitful lines. Eschewing both these easy polarities and the increasingly abstract discourse of translation theory, he brings the main questions into clearer focus: What is the ultimate goal of a translation? What does it mean to label a rendering “faithful”? (Faithful to what?) Is something inevitably lost in translation, and can something also be gained? Does translation matter, and if so, why? Unashamedly opinionated, both a manual and a manifesto, his book invites usto sympathize with the translator not as a “traitor” but as the author's creative partner. Polizzotti, himself a translator of authors from Patrick Modiano to Gustave Flaubert, explores what translation is and what it isn't, and how it does or doesn't work. Translation, he writes, “skirts the boundaries between art and craft, originality and replication, altruism and commerce, genius and hack work.” In Sympathy for the Traitor, he shows us how to read not only translations but also the act of translation itself, treating it not as a problem to be solved but as an achievement to be celebrated?something, as Goethe put it, “impossible, necessary, and important.”

There are no customer reviews for this item yet.

Leave a Review

Our Frequent Buyer Card

Members of our Frequent Buyer Program receive benefits at Harvard Book Store and Sign up for free!

Learn More »

Signed by the Author

Join our Signed First Edition Club (or give a gift subscription) for a signed book of great literary merit, delivered to you monthly.

Learn More »

Shipping & Delivery

Shipping rates
and options, locally
and throughout
the U.S.

Learn More »