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The transnational production and reception of “a future classic”: Stefan Hertmans’ War and Turpentine in 30 languages

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

This article proposes a sociological model for understanding the circulation of a single widely translated book, from local creation to transnational production and reception. Reconstructing the career of War and Turpentine by the Dutch-speaking Belgian author Stefan Hertmans, it examines the book’s circulation as a process mediated through a transnational literary field linking the literary field of the original and the many separate yet co-implicated national literary fields of its translations. It is argued that War and Turpentine’s success, which was by no means guaranteed, can be explained by cumulative interactions across these fields. Three aspects are investigated to illustrate cross-field interactions: the timely and fortuitous interventions of the title’s foreign rights manager, its anglophone reception, and the covers of its various translations.
Journal: Translation Studies
ISSN: 1478-1700
Issue: 3
Volume: 13
Pages: 271 - 290
Publication year:2020