Curriculum vitae

Teaching and supervision


Main publications



Editor, The Manipulation of Literature
Studies in Literary Translation
London and Sydney : Croom Helm, 1985
249 pages. ISBN 0 7099 1276 5


Theo Hermans. Introduction: Translation Studies and a New Paradigm
Gideon Toury. A Rationale for Descriptive Translation Studies
Raymond van den Broeck. Second Thoughts on Translation Criticism
Maria Tymoczko. How Distinct are Formal and Dynamic Equivalence?
Susan Bassnett. Strategies and Methods for Translating Theatre Texts
Theo Hermans. Images of Translation: Metaphors and Imagery in the Renaissance Discourse on Translation
Hendrik van Gorp. The European Picaresque Novel in the 17th and 18th Centuries
Jose Lambert, Lieven D'hulst and Katrin van Bragt. Translated Literature in France 1800-1850
Leon Burnett. Mandelshtam's 'Word' and Translation
Ria Vanderauwera. The Response to Translated Literature
Andre Lefevere. Why Waste our Time on Rewrites?

From the reviews:

All the contributors to this volume (of whom six work in Belgium and the Netherlands , the other six in Britain , USA and Israel ) adopt more or less the ‘polysystem’ theory of literature, which has the inestimable advantage of resembling applied common sense. They are resolutely unconcerned with how decisions are made as to what is moved from a ‘source’ to a ‘target’ culture, and it seems to me therefore that the title of this volume is ill-chosen. Though anyone interested in the general functioning of literary systems will learn much from Theo Hermans and his international team, the reader will learn little more about the manipulation of literature than what Schücking, Escarpit and Hall pointed out long ago, and which leaves plenty of room for the roulette wheel.
David Bellos, The Times Higher Education Supplement, 27 September 1985

Many of these essays are too much peppered with vogue-words like ‘paradigm’, ‘parameter’, ‘interface’, ‘ideology’ (what is not ideology?), ‘norms’, ‘models’ and ‘metacommunication’. (…) In my opinion, the study of literature reception is valid and promising, but it is sociology rather than literature or criticism. The target-oriented approach to translation soon becomes swamped in ideology (many of these writers would say nothing else exists: it is like the narrow version of a Whorf-Sapir thesis), but the search for accuracy, truth, the transmission of moral comment and criticism, the subtle elucidation of cultural richness – this search becomes a casualty.
Peter Newmark, Quinquereme. New Studies in Modern Languages 10, 1987, 1

Last updated August 2008 by Theo Hermans.