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humanities 181 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 that the plays at Wakefield were those preserved in the Towneley manuscript, a view in need of some defending these days. Though gratitude is expressed to the Records of Early English Drama project, the third chapter opens with the assertion that >by the last quarter of the sixteenth century the story of the English professional theatre was primarily one of London,= exactly counter to recent emphases inspired by REED work. Slips of fact are made throughout, including the bibliography, which is clumsily laid out, and confuses, for example, the work of the theatre historian Richard Southern with that of the medieval political and social historian Richard William Southern under one authorial entry. And what a Lancashire audience may have been doing in sixteenth-century Chester is puzzling. An early modern theatre outing? (JOHN H. ASTINGTON) Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski, Luise von Flotow, and Daniel Russell, editors. The Politics of Translation in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance University of Ottawa Press 2001. 222. $24.95 This lively collection of essays presents itself as arising at the intersection of translation studies with medieval and early modern studies. It appears in the >Perspectives on Translation Series= from the University of Ottawa Press, a series committed to furthering the >cultural turn= in translation studies away from predominantly linguistic analyses and towards social and political accounts of translation. Simultaneously, it belongs to a series from the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. The essays themselves, almost all by members of departments of literature, do not situate themselves in relation to developments in translation studies. They continue the attentiveness to the cultural significance of translation that has long characterized the study of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, periods when translatio was a dominant cultural trope. The interdisciplinary dialogue may be one-sided, but this volume augurs well for further convergence of these fields. To read these eleven essays (based on papers given at a 1997 conference) is to return to highly charged moments of cultural change in Europe: the Christianization of the Roman Empire; the rise of monastic, aristocratic, and merchant communities; the emergence of national identities; and the effects of exploration, printing, and humanism. Translation into French is best represented, but there is also work that focuses on Latin, Greek, Italian, and English (Old, Middle, and Early Modern). As Luise von Flotow points out in her introduction, the essays are concerned not only with confrontations between discrete cultural systems, but also with the way particular individuals intervene in this process. Some figures are familiar: Alfred the Great, Erasmus, Shakespeare. More exciting are profiles of lesser-known writers: Hasan al-Wazzan recording his African journeys in broken Italian, or Etienne Dolet burned at the stake for his translation of a single phrase. 182 letters in canada 2002 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 These are detailed case studies, of two types. Most of them compare a particular translation to its source, explaining changes in light of the author=s aims or situation. The textual comparisons focus on a range of features: from lexis or grammar to concepts or content. Similarly varied are the strategies for explaining alterations: the subtle, or not so subtle, intrusion of the author=s moral concerns; insight into the meaning of the original; the wilful erasure of cultural difference. Of particularly interest is the pair of essays on Montaigne=s translation of Sebond=s Theologia naturalis. The elegant article by Philip Hendrick uncovers how Montaigne=s stylistic changes register an intellectual program quite different from Sebond=s B more concerned with human agency, while more sceptical of systematizing dogma. Where Hendrick=s piece overstates its case, claiming that Sebond and Montaigne are representative of medieval and Renaissance worldviews , the essay by Edward Tilson provides a useful corrective, refining our sense of what makes Sebond=s work, and Montaigne=s translation of it, unique. The other approach focuses not on specific translations but on how the very notion of translation took shape in a particular place and time. The essays of this sort recall current work on medieval vernacularity and on Renaissance ideologies of...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 181-182
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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