nl en

Literary Translation 2


Admission requirements

A pass for Literary Translation 1.

This course is open only to students registered for the Translation in Theory and Practice specialization.


“There are few efforts more conducive to humility than that of the translator trying to communicate an incommunicable beauty. Yet, unless we do try, something unique and never surpassed will cease to exist except in the libraries of a few inquisitive book lovers.” Many will disagree with this quotation by the American classicist and teacher, Edith Hamilton (1867-1963), herself the author of beautiful translations of Greek tragedies. They would argue that reading a translation is like looking at “the other side of a tapestry” (Cervantes): it is not difficult, but actually impossible and should therefore not be tried at home – or in tutorial. However, this (i.e. trying) is precisely what we are going to do in this course.

In the first six weeks of the course, we will explore some of the issues (like the one above) in literary translation that scholars in different times and cultures have asked themselves. The second half of the course will be in the form of translation workshops, led by one or two students who have prepared short, annotated translations of fiction, poetry or prose at home. Students are free in their choice of source language: English, Dutch, French, Chinese, Old English, Klingon…

At the end of the course, students are aware of the challenges involved in literary translation. Furthermore, they are aware of its interdisciplinary nature and of the contributions made by translation theorists, stylisticians, literary scholars and philosophers.

Course objectives

  • Knowledge of current debates in literary translation;

  • Knowledge of stylistics;

  • Ability to apply one’s knowledge and understanding of stylistics in translating literary texts.


The timetable will be available by June 1st on the website.

Mode of instruction


Course Load

  • time spent on attending seminars: 28 hours

  • time for studying the compulsory literature: 42 hours

  • time to prepare translations, annotations and presentations(includingreading/research): 210 hours

Assessment Method

  • Class paper 20%

  • Written assignment 20%

  • Annotated translation 60%


This course is supported by Blackboard.

Reading list

  • Parks, Tim (2007). A Literary Approach to Translation – A Translation Approach to Literature. Manchester (UK) & Kinderhook (NY): St. Jerome Publishing.

  • Additional reading materials made available on Blackboard.


Students should register through uSis. If you have any questions, please contact the departmental office, tel. 071 5272144 or mail

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration via Studeren à la carte
Registration via Contractonderwijs


MA Linguistics departmental office, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 102C. Tel. 071 5272144;