Dimensionen der Humantranslation / Dimensions of Human Translation

2022

Dimensionen der Humantranslation / Dimensions of Human Translation

Pages 87-127

Translation and/as/or creativity

This essay attempts to gain critical purchase on the burgeoning field of enquiry, within Translation and Translator Studies, that is focused on the matters of creativity and originality. What does it mean to claim that translators are creative, and that their translations are creations? At issue is perhaps negotiating beyond the truisms (indeed translators are creative, and assuredly their translations are creations) and engaging with what the present essay argues remain the difficult challenges to be faced: why is creation and creativity, when such things are achieved by translators and translations, always invidiously assessed in respect of a putatively unattainable originality? Is that unattainable originality always a consequence of the still‑abiding doctrine of translatory fidelity and the imposition of the prescriptions and laws of equivalence? The present essay seeks to gain a degree of clarity on such matters by proposing (without endorsing) three options: translation and creativity, translation as creativity, translation or creativity. The aim is then to relay such options to a broader inspection of past and current research in Translation and Translator Studies, as well as to certain instructive reference points in the philosophical, psychoanalytic, and psychological literature on the topic of creativity.