‘I try to follow the rule laid down by perhaps the greatest translator of all, John Dryden, who maintained that a translator should – and I paraphrase – make the version as entertaining as possible, while at the same time remaining as faithful as possible to the spirit of the original’ – Ranjit Bolt.
In this book, Ranjit Bolt takes what is essentially a practitioner's view of the art of literary translation. His observations are born of a quarter of a century's experience of translating for a living, especially for the theatre. While rooted in practice, however, this survey does not shy away from theory, but is packed with allusion to great translation theorists such as Walter Benjamin and John Dryden, as well as adumbrating Bolt's own theoretical stance.
‘There is much practical good sense in this engaging, good-humouredapologia pro domo’ – Times Literary Supplement
‘If you’re interested in writing plays you need to read The Art of Translation. Even if you have no intention of translating a play Bolt has a lot to teach about how dramatic language works.’ – The Stage
‘Bolt’s essay is provocative and engaging, drawing heavily on twenty years of direct first-hand experience as the writer of some of the most lively modern translations of classical into English… Bolt has a very satisfying turn of phrase, and the book is full of teasingly provocative and wondefully quotable opinions.’ – Journal of Adaptation in Film & Performance