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Two Approaches to the Positioning of Translations: A Comparative Study of Itamar Even-Zohar’s Polysystem Studies and Gideon Toury’s "Descriptive Translation Studies and Beyond"

Harry Aveling


This paper aims to analyze the work of two contemporary scholars of Translation theory, Itamar Even-Zohar and Gideon Toury. Their studies arise out of Russian Formalism and their common location at the University of Tel Aviv. Even-Zohar’s Polysystem theory attempts to position texts and their translations within “literary polysystems.” On the other hand, Gideon Toury extends Even-Zohar’s discussion by a more detailed consideration of the role of "norms" in the translation process. This article suggests that Toury’s ideas have been more readily accepted by the academic community because of the way they fit other dimensions of contemporary thought. Although this paper does not consider the application of these theories, it suggests that these theories could be valuable in the study of Southeast Asian literature and the relationships between local literatures in different languages.


Indonesian literature, literary polysystems, translation theory, Russian Formalism

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13185/1541