Site Rationale

Four particular features of the site are worth noting, since they underpinned its establishment, and have shaped its subsequent development:



it is the practice of translation, rather than its theory, that is emphasised here. Theories of translation have been much explored and widely promulgated in recent years. But at the centre of this site lies a fascination with the actual practical business of translating this word, or line, or rhythmic pulse, or syntactic order, into a vibrant and persuasive English.



the translations are always placed against the original text, either immediately after it or, more usually, on the facing page. There is no more severe test, or more compelling verbal and imaginative dynamic, than to present original and translated texts side by side.



the translations are always accompanied by an introductory essay, notes, and other contextual material, all of which address the relationship between the original text and the translation. Often, this material explores the difficulties – whether of style, or tone, or broader cultural assumption – confronted in rendering the original into English.



the choice of texts is deliberately eclectic, drawing upon a very considerable range of different languages, historical periods, and genres and modes. Only in this broad, inclusive way can the many questions raised by literary translation in general, as well as individual texts specifically, be presented and explored.