- How books travel: Translation flows and practices of Dutch acquiring editors and New York literary scouts, 1980-2009
- Award date
- 6 March 2015
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
This dissertation concerns the ways in which literary and poetry books travel across the globe. First, I ask quantitatively from which foreign languages fiction and poetry books are translated into Dutch and how these translation flows developed between 1980 and 2009. To do so, I construct a dataset of all fiction and poetry books published in the Netherlands in this period to analyze translation flows within the context of the entire book production in fiction and poetry. Secondly, I asked qualitatively how translations come about in practice and how the transnational market for transnational rights is organized. I study the practices of New York literary scouts that work for Dutch (and other) publishers to help them select the most interesting manuscripts from the Anglo-American literary field. Furthermore, I analyze the practices of Dutch acquiring editors who are responsible for deciding which books to publish.
In other words, I sought to understand how the process of cultural globalization, defined in this thesis as ‘the growing international diffusion, exchange, and intermingling of cultural goods and media products’ (Janssen, Kuipers & Verboord, 2008: 720), is made possible in practice in the literary field. In combining large-scale quantitative data with in-depth qualitative data, I attempt to examine the whole of the translation processes, not only the translation flows on an aggregate level, but also the micro-sociological and meso-sociological processes that underlie these translation flows.
- Research conducted at: Universiteit van Amsterdam
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