The introduction offers an up-to-date survey of translation as both praxis and trope in contemporary modernist studies. These include the languages and figures of translation: polyphony, dialogue, idiolect and theatricalisation; representations of the translator as a liminal figure-cultural ambassador or intermediary; the linguistic, stylistic and political borders being confronted for translation to take place; the cultural networks and publications via which translations and foreign literatures transited and became accessible to new readerships. These dimensions are summarized by what Renken calls ‘the pleasures of Babel’, challenging the age-old figures of translation as a divine curse, condemning it to entropy, failure or confusion. This conceptual introduction is followed by succinct presentations of the various chapters in the yearbook, and their different contributions to the field.
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