Retellers of Tales - an Evaluation of English Translation of Laxdæla Saga

Studia Islandica 51

From the Introduction: „In contrast to an original literary creation, no translation is an independent and organic produsct. Its aim is to reproduce an existing, foreign work and its relationship to that same work is its defining characteristic. At the same time every translation is defined by its receiving audience to a much greater extent than the original is likely to have been."

For these reasons at least the evaluation of translation poses considerably different problems than does the evaluation and criticism of original literature.

The research project presented here involves a systematic examination of four English translations of a medieval Icelandic saga, Laxdæla saga, in an attempt to evaluate their respective quality. The criteria used in this assessment have been derived from modern translation theory.

The choice of this saga for investigation was prompted by the fact that numerous English translations exist from different periods of time; the first full translation was published in 1899, the most recent in 1969. They thus show the changing attitudes towards translation which have existed during the past eighty years and reflect new developments in linguistic and literary research?

Editor is Sveinn Skorri Höskuldsson.
Author: Keneva Kunz
ISBN: 9979-9011-4-4
Pages: 248