Abstract and Keywords
Translation is an ubiquitous practice in both literary and non-literary writing during the medieval period. It underwrote cultural and ideological transfers from distant times and places, as well as the practical transaction of daily life in much of the Middle English period. This article explores what “Middle English literature” might look like if new approaches to and definitions of translation are adopted. More specifically, it considers what might happen to the literary tradition if translated texts constituted an aesthetic grouping independent from authorial and generic categories, or if this grouping were granted the same critical value as the most prestigious authors and genres. It also discusses the possibility of locating monolingual texts in a cultural environment saturated with translating activities. To address these issues, the article focuses on translation theory, cultural studies, analyses of translatio studii et imperii, and source studies that all contribute essential elements to the repositioning of translated literature.
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