Edited By Marko Pajević and David Nowell Smith, James W. Underhill; Humboldt in Translation Theory: Pearls of Wisdom, or Splashes in the Ocean?. Forum Mod Lang Stud 2017; 53 (1): 58-70. doi: 10.1093/fmls/cqw087
Exactly 200 years after its first publication, Humboldt’s Preface to his translation of Aeschylus’ Agamemnon still appears to have something to say to a vast range of authors from George Steiner to Henri Meschonnic and Antoine Berman. Humboldt’s insight into the adventure of translating forces us to face up to something fundamental about creative expression and our relation to other cultures. From Schleiermacher to Steiner, and from Mona Baker to Lawrence Venuti, what exactly has Humboldt’s conception of language and translation to contribute to Translation Studies today? References to a ‘Humboldtian tradition’ will be read alongside Humboldt’s own Preface to his translation of Aeschylus’ Agamemnon (1816) to answer this question.