The Never-Ending Task
Mankind needs translation as it needs air to breathe. But the debate about how to translate is as old as the tradition of literary translation itself. What is more important – to convey the "spirit" of a text or to provide a "literal" translation? Should the translator re-write in his or her own language or retain the original's "foreign" characteristics? Klaus Reichert is not only a renowned translator (of authors from Shakespeare to Joyce) but has also examined, in many important essays, the history and practice of translation. And because he is both theoretician and practician, it seems logical that this intelligent and arresting book, offering a wealth of examples, argues that there is no single translation method or theory – each text requires its own method according to its individual needs.