Is that a Fish in Your Ear?: The Amazing Adventure of Translation

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Penguin Books, 2012 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 390 pages
18 Reviews
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Funny and surprising on every page, Is That a Fish in Your Ear offers readers new insight into the mystery of how we come to know what someone else means whether we wish to understand Asteerix cartoons or a foreign head of state. Using translation as his lens, David Bellos shows how much we can learn about ourselves by exploring the ways we use translation, from the historical roots of written language to the stylistic choices of Ingmar Bergman, from the United Nations General Assembly to the significance of James Camerons Avatar. Is That a Fish in Your Ear ranges across human experience to describe why translation sits deep within us all, and why we need it in so many situations, from the spread of religion to our appreciation of literature; indeed, Bellos claims that all writers are by definition translators. Written with joie de vivre, reveling both in misunderstanding and communication, littered with wonderful asides, it promises any reader new eyes through which to understand the world. --amazon.com.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - kropferama - LibraryThing

More than just a book about translation--also includes theories of language and meaning. Very dense in spots. Personally had hoped for a little more history and modern day accounts of translation but that was my preference only. A challenging book that requires the reader to pay close attention. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - PattyLee - LibraryThing

Interesting. Perhaps a bit too philosophical and dense for casual reading, but if you are interested in the topic there are many interesting discussions of translation from spontaneous to literary. Read full review

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About the author (2012)

David Bellos is Meredith Howland Pyne Professor of French Literature at Princeton University, where he also teaches Comparative Literature. He is the author of many books and articles on nineteenth-century fiction, alongside biographies of three icons of French culture in the twentieth century- Georges Perec, Jacques Tati and Romain Gary. He is also a well-known translator and the author of Is That a Fish in Your Ear? The Amazing Adventure of Translation. David Bellos was recently awarded the rank of officier in the Ordre National des Arts et des Lettres for his services to French culture.

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