School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies

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Martyn Gray

PhD in Translation Studies, Faculty of Arts


Research Summary

Current Status

PhD (full-time) - currently registered

Research Topic

The reviewing of literary translations in the UK, France and Germany

Research Summary

The purpose of this research project is to examine the criteria by which literary translations are assessed in the UK, France and Germany and the language that reviewers tend to use. The inspiration for this project came from Lawrence Venuti's comments on the reviewing of literary translations in The Translator's Invisibility (2008); he claims that reviewers contribute to the notion of "invisibility" of the translator by rarely addressing the 'fact of translation' at all. He asserts that on the rare occasions that translations are addressed, reviewers' comments tend to focus on its style and fluency, neglecting other questions related to literary translation. One of the aims of this project is thus to corroborate or contradict these assertions. It is both a cross-cultural and cross-corpora study: the project will assess not only how translations are reviewed differently in the three countries, but also at how translations are reviewed depending on the popularity/specialisation of where the review is published. To achieve this, the project will have three 'points of attack' for each country: popular corpora open for comments from the public (;;, mainstream newspapers/supplements (e.g. The Times Literary Supplement; Le Figaro Littéraire; Die Zeit Literaturbeilage), and specialised magazines (e.g. London Review of Books; Le Magazine Littéraire). The working hypothesis is the more specialised a review, the more likely the fact of translation is to be acknowledged and the more likely substantiated comments will be made on the quality of the translation.

Research Interests

  • Translation studies
  • Literary translation
  • The ethics of translation & the translator's "invisibility"
  • Linguistics and purism

Research Supervisors

  • Dr Pierre-Alexis Mével
  • Dr Kathryn Batchelor

Primary Funding Source

PhD studentship from the School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies at the University of Nottingham

Academic History

  • MA Translation Studies with Interpreting, University of Nottingham
  • BA Joint Honours French and German, University of Nottingham

School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies

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Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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