A3 Book chapter
The missing needle: Bibliographies, translation flows and retranslation

List of Authors: Paloposki Outi
Publication year: 2018
Journal: Analecta Romana Instituti Danici
Book title *: Translating Scandinavia : Scandinavian Literature in Italian and German Translation, 1918-1945
Title of series: Analecta Romana Instituti Danici – Supplementum L
ISBN: 978-88-7140-921-4
ISSN: 0066-1392


Bibliographies are like haystacks: we engage in endless searches
hunting for the needle we think must be there. Sometimes we find what we were
looking for; other times, sifting through bibliographical data, all we come
across is a lot of “unwanted” information. And yet perhaps we might, just once, turn
the issue upside down? If for a moment we shift our gaze from what we are
looking for (the needle) to instead consider our surroundings (the haystack), we may discover that
the hay in itself is a source for new directions in research. Bibliographies
may thus not only help us to solidify our understandingon our initial topic, they may
also contextualise it and offer new avenues for research. The examples
presented in this article deal with earlier work on specific topics in which
bibliographies were initially used for locating statistical information. The
problems encountered in the course of these searches ultimately led the scholar to pose new questions.
An attempt to survey translation flows led to studies on personal agency
or ideological or market pressures, and the search for retranslated literature
turned into a study of categorization and classification problems when defining
the object, retranslations – which, for its part, engendered a study of
revision. Thus, while learning to cope with inaccurate or even misleading
sources, we may also learn to see wider implications of the issue in question.

Last updated on 2019-11-03 at 12:30