Book Cover

Translation Effects

Language, Time, and Community in Medieval England

Mary Kate Hurley

226 pp. 6 x 9
Pub Date: July, 2021

Subjects: Literary Studies, European
Literary Theory
Medieval Studies

Series: Interventions: New Studies in Medieval Culture

order Hardcover $99.95   ISBN: 978-0-8142-1471-8
Order PDF ebook$34.95   ISBN: 978-0-8142-8127-7

“This book is to be welcomed as offering a new angle on translation in medieval England, one that will be of benefit to future scholarship. The key idea of translation effects is original and certainly valuable, and Hurley, by making use of it in her textual analyses, presents interesting readings of a selection of relevant writings.” —Hugh Magennis, Speculum

“Mary Kate Hurley proposes a new approach to translation studies, using the concept of the translation effect, a broader and more flexible approach to literary and cultural translation than has previously been attempted. Translation Effects is lucid, forceful, and a joy to read.” —Robert Stanton, author of The Culture of Translation in Anglo-Saxon England

“This ambitious and engaging book succeeds admirably well in disclosing the translation effects that are inscribed within certain medieval texts, distinctive traces that reveal writers in the process of reimagining and repurposing old texts for contemporary communities.” —Alastair Minnis, author of Hellish Imaginations from Augustine to Dante: An Essay in Metaphor and Materiality

In Translation Effects: Language, Time, and Community in Medieval England, Mary Kate Hurley reinterprets a well-recognized and central feature of medieval textual production: translation. Medieval texts often leave conspicuous evidence of the translation process. These translation effects are observable traces that show how medieval writers reimagined the nature of the political, cultural, and linguistic communities within which their texts were consumed. Examining translation effects closely, Hurley argues, provides a means of better understanding not only how medieval translations imagine community but also how they help create communities.

Through fresh readings of texts such as the Old English Orosius, Ælfric’s Lives of the Saints and Homilies, and Beowulf as well as works by Chaucer, Trevet, and Gower, Translation Effects adds a new dimension to medieval literary history. Hurley connects translation to community in a careful and rigorous way and traces the lingering outcomes of translation effects through the whole of the medieval period.

Mary Kate Hurley is Associate Professor in the Department of English at Ohio University.




Chapter 1   What Orosius Said: Temporal Heterogeneity in the Old English Orosius

Chapter 2   Sanctity and Soil: Ælfric’s Life of Oswald, King and Martyr

Chapter 3   Communities of the Page in the Ælfrician Homiletic Corpus

Chapter 4   Becoming England: The Northumbrian Conversion in Trevet, Gower, and Chaucer

Chapter 5   Beowulf’s Collectivities




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