Umberto Eco is a novelist, journalist, translator, literary critic, semiotician and all-around logophile renaissance man. Eco’s Experiences in Translation is one of the most engaging books on the craft and profession of translation.
The first half of the book focuses, as the title suggests, on his own experiences in translation. And although he claims to have produced a book that’s light on theory and rich in common-sense observation and reflection, there’s a substantial amount of theory for translation scholars, touching on Roman Jakobson’s concepts of intralingual, interlingual and intersemiotic translation.
This book is a really welcome bridge between fluffy, anecdotal discussions of translation practices and the dry, anachronistic essays that serve as the foundation translation theory studies. (I’m looking at you, Walter Benjamin.)