The translation of reading: A phenomenological approach

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5 Citations (Scopus)


This paper proposes that it is translation's task to capture the phenomenology - the whole-body experience, the kinaesthetics - of reading, rather than the interpretation of texts. This entails the definition of alternative modes of reading, hermeneutic and constructivist, and the development of "multilingual" translational processes able to register the reader's psycho-physiological and multi-sensory involvement in text, where "multilingual" refers not only to national languages, but also to the languages of textual presentation and projection. A phenomenological approach to translation presupposes the translation of the linguistic towards the paralinguistic, and of the textual towards the performative. The paper undertakes two translations: an intralingual rendering of Edward Thomas's "Adlestrop", in two versions, exploring layout as a model of readerly consciousness and the reincorporation into text of associative mechanisms (radial reading); and an interlingual rendering of Rilke's Orpheus sonnet I. 13, again in two versions, the former addressing vocal acoustics, the latter introducing doodling as part of its graphic language.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-229
Number of pages17
JournalTranslation Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2011


  • phenomenology
  • hermeneutic reading
  • constructivist reading
  • radial reading
  • multilingual translation
  • graphism

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