Babel : Adventures in Translation - the exhibition catalogue from Bodleian Library available to buy at Museum Bookstore

Babel : Adventures in Translation

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'Accompanying an exhibition at the Bodleian, and beautifully illustrated by some of the library's treasures, this collection of essays about translation is a visual and intellectual treat' - Tatler

A beautifully illustrated and thought provoking book looking at how ideas have been transmitted between cultures through translation

This companion book to an exhibition at the Bodleian library tells the story of how ideas have travelled via the medium of translation into different languages and cultures.

The book starts with Babel and multilingualism, looking at the connotations of the Biblical tale, and the many different interpretations ascribed to the word ‘Babel’ itself. Other chapters are on attempts, over the centuries, to create a universal language; translations of religious texts, Homeric myths, fables and Harry Potter; dialects and linguistic diversity; and languages lost in time.

Our favourite section are the essays on fables and fantasy which chart the way the Panchatantra and Aesop's fables have spread in different languages; look at the use of invented languages in fiction, too, from Lewis Carroll's games through J.R.R.Tolkien's elaborate invented Elvish tongues. 

Beautifully illustrated the book has many full colour images ranging from reproductions of some of the library’s treasures to graphs and arresting iconography. It's a fun and fascinating read and a lovely book to dip into.

Details
  • Authors: Dennis Duncan and Stephen Harrison
  • Hardcover: 176 pages | 65 colour illustrations
  • Date published: February 2019
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 978-1851245093
  • Dimensions: 25.2 x 21.8 cm
Reviews

'Accompanying an exhibition at the Bodleian, and beautifully illustrated by some of the library's treasures, this collection of essays about translation is a visual and intellectual treat' - Tatler

'As a book accompanying an exhibit, Babel: Adventures in Translation is, unsurprisingly, extensively -- and quite sumptuously -- illustrated. . . the pieces. . . present quick, broad overviews of quite a variety of translation- and language-related subjects beyond the merely obvious. Along with the many illustrations, it makes for an agreeably thought-provoking collection' - Complete Review


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