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Gideon Toury
Tel Aviv University (Israel)

Enhancing Cultural Changes
By Means of Fictitious Translations


At this point in the evolution of culture theory, very few would contest the claim that change is a built-in feature of culture. Implied is not only that cultures are changeable in principle, so to speak, but also that, given the time, every single cultural system would indeed undergo some change. In fact, a culture which would have failed to show change over a considerable period of time is bound to get marginalised and become obsolete, if not stop functioning as a living culture altogether. At the same time, cultural systems are also prone to manifest a certain resistance to changes, especially if they are deemed too drastic. When renewal seems to involve such changes, they may well be rejected in an attempt to maintain what has already been achieved; in other words, retain whatever equilibrium the culture has reached. Innovation and conservation thus appear as two major contending forces in cultural dynamics.

One `big' hypothesis which has been put forward in an attempt to reconcile these two extremes claims that new models do manage to make their way into an extant cultural repertoire in spite of the system's inherent resistance to changes if and when those novelties are introduced under disguise; that is, as if they still represented an established option within the culture in question. Inasmuch as the cover is effective, it is only when penetration of products and production processes pertaining to the new model has been completed that the receiving culture would appear to have undergone change, often bringing it to the verge of a new (and different) state of equilibrium. Needless to say, the process as such may take a while. Also, it tends to involve a series of smaller, more intricate changes, which may not be recognised as changes as they are occurring. Even something which appears to represent a cultural `revolution' would thus normally be found to have followed an evolutionary process.1
A lot of this tends to go unnoticed by the average person-in-the-culture, precisely because many of the potentially new products s/he may encounter in daily life have been disguised as standing for something else, much more established, much less alien, and hence much less of a threat to the culture's stability. By contrast, those who act in accordance with the new model, and produce the behaviour which will be paving the way for its ultimate reception, often do realise its explosive potentials. It is precisely out of such a realisation that they may decide to conceal the true nature of their behaviour, namely, in an attempt to introduce whatever innovations they may entail in a controlled way, and in smaller doses, so that they may go unnoticed by the masses, or those who dominate the culture while all this is happening, until the innovations have been [partly] incorporated into the culture and are no longer felt as a potential threat.

My intention in this paper is far from claiming that this is the only way a new model may make its way into a cultural repertoire (because I don't believe it is). On the other hand, I have no wish to devote too many efforts to modifying - and necessarily complexifying - the `disguise' hypothesis either (for instance, by specifying the conditions under which it is more or less likely to gain [or lose] validity). What I'll be doing instead would amount to adding some weight to the very feasibility of such a `big', overarching hypothesis as a possible explanation of cultural dynamics; and I will do so on the basis of one kind of evidence: the creation and utilisation of fictitious translations (also known as pseudotranslations); a recurring type of cultural behaviour which I have been preoccupied with for almost twenty years, and from changing points of view.2


As has been demonstrated so many times, translations which deviate from sanctioned patterns - which many of them certainly do - are often tolerated by a culture to a much higher extent than equally deviant original compositions. Given this fact, the possibility is always there to try and put the cultural gatekeepers to sleep by presenting a text as if it were translated, thus lowering the threshold of resistance to the novelties it may hold in store and enhancing their acceptability, along with that of the text incorporating them as a whole. In its extreme forms, pseudo-translating amounts to no less than an act of culture planning - a notion which, as I have been claiming lately, deserve to be given much higher prominence in Translation Studies than has normally been the case; at least while trying to account for translation behaviour under specific circumstances, that is, as a descriptive-explanatory tool.3

Be that as it may, it is clear that recourse to fictitious translations entails a disguise mechanism whereby advantage is taken of a culture-internal conception of translation: not an essentialistic `definition' (that is, a list of [more or less] fixed features, allegedly specifying what translation inherently `is'), but a functional conception thereof which takes heed of the immanent variability of the notion of translation: difference across cultures, variation within a culture and changes over time.

The underlying assumption here is that a text's systemic position (and ensuing function), including the position and function which go with a text's being regarded as a translation, are determined first and foremost by considerations originating in the culture which actually hosts it. Thus, when a text is offered as a translation, it is quite readily accepted bona fide as one, no further questions asked. By contrast, when a text is presented as having been originally composed in a language, reasons will often manifest themselves - e.g., certain features of textual make-up and verbal formulation, which persons-in-the-culture have come to associate with translations and translating - to at least suspect, correctly or not, that the text has in fact been translated into that language.

Within such a so-called `target culture', any text which is regarded as a translation, on no matter what grounds, can be accounted for as a cluster of (at least three) interconnected postulates:

(1) The Source-Text Postulate;
(2) The Transfer Postulate;
(3) The Relationship Postulate.4

Regarded as postulates, all three are posited rather than factual; at least not of necessity. It is precisely this nature of theirs which makes it so possible for producers of texts, or various agents of cultural dissemination, to offer original compositions as if they were translations: neither the source text nor the transfer operations (and the features that the assumed `target' and `source' texts are regarded as sharing, by virtue of that transfer), nor any translational relationships (where the transferred - and shared - features are taken as an invariant core), have to be exposed and made available to the consumers; not even in the case of genuine translations. Very often it is really the other way around: a `positive' reason has to be supplied if a text assumed to be a translation is to be deprived of its culture-internal identity as one.

Thus, it is only when a text presented (or regarded) as a translation has been shown to have never had a corresponding source text in any other language, hence no text-induced `transfer operations', shared (transferred) features and accountable relationships, that it is found to be `what it really is': an original composition disguised as a translation. To be sure, this is a far cry from saying that a translation proved to be fictitious has `no basis' in any other culture, which is not necessarily true either: like genuine translations, fictitious ones may also serve as a vehicle of imported novelties. However, to the extent that such a basis can be pointed to, it would normally amount to a whole group of foreign texts, even the [abstractable] model underlying that group, rather than any individual text.5
From the point of view of any retrospective attempt to study pseudo-translating and its implications, a significant paradox is precisely that a text can only be identified as a fictitious translation after the veil has been lifted, i.e., when the function it was intended to have, and initially had in the culture into which it was introduced, has already changed; whether the fact that it used to function as a translation still has some reality left or whether it has been completely erased from the culture's `collective memory'. Only then can questions be asked as to why a disguised mode of presentation was selected in the first place, and why it was this particular language, or cultural tradition, that was picked as a `source', as well as what it was that made the public fall for it for a longer or a shorter period of time. At the same time, if any historically valid accounts are to be attempted, the text will have to be properly contextualised. In other words, it will have to be reinstated in the position it had occupied before it was found out to be fictitious. (Of course, there may exist myriad fictitious translations, with respect to which the mystification has not been dispelled, and maybe never will be. These texts can only be tackled as translations whose sources have remained unknown; but then, so many genuine translations are in that same position, especially if one goes back in time. Moreover, there is no real way of distinguishing between the two, which - in terms of their cultural position (that is, from the internal point of view of the culture which hosts them) - tend to be the same anyway.)

By contrast, the lifting of the veil itself, and the circumstances under which it occurred, form an integral part of the story we are after. Thus, when an under-cover mission has been accomplished, there is little need for that cover any more. On the contrary, sometimes a wish may arise precisely to publicise the way by which the new dominating group (or individual) have managed to `outsmart the establishment' and smuggle in its own goods. All this does not rule out the possibility that the veil could also be lifted prior to a successful fulfillment of the task: This may certainly happen. After all, a strategy's success is never guaranteed. In cases like this, fulfillment may well be stopped, or even reverted, which constitutes another important aspect of any attempt to study cultural dynamics.


To be sure, a fictitious translation is not necessarily just presented to the public as if it were a genuine one (which - based as it is on make-believe alone - would still represent a disguise, but a rather superficial one indeed). In many cases, the text is produced `as a translation' right from the start. Entailing as it does the possibility of putting the claim that the text `is' indeed a translation to some kind of test, this would certainly count as a far more elaborate form of disguise.

Thus, features are often embedded in a fictitious translation which have come to be habitually associated with genuine translations in the culture which would host it, and which the pseudo-translator is part of, on occasion so much as a privileged part; whether the association is with translations into the hosting culture in general, or translations into it of texts of a particular type, or, more often, translations from a particular source language/culture. By enhancing their resemblance to genuine translations, pseudo-translators simply make it easier for their textual creations to pass as translations without arousing too much suspicion.

Interestingly enough, due to the practice of embedding features in fictitious translations which have come to be associated with genuine translations, it is sometimes possible to `reconstruct' from a fictitious translation bits and pieces of a text in another language as a kind of an `possible source text' - one that never enjoyed any textual reality, to be sure - as is the case with so many genuine translations whose sources have not (or not yet) been identified. In fact, as is the case with parodies (which are akin to them in more than one respect), fictitious translations often represent their fictitious sources in a rather exaggerated manner, which may render the said reconstruction quite easy as well as highly univocal. It is simply that the possibility, if not the need to actually activate an `original' in the background of a text is often an integral part of its proper realisation as an `intended translation', and hence of the very disguise involved in pseudo-translating.
No wonder, then, that fictitious translations are often in a position to give a fairly good idea as to the notions shared by the members of a community, not only concerning the position of translated texts in the culture they entertain, but concerning the most conspicuous characteristics of such texts as well; in terms of both textual-linguistic traits as well as putative target-source relationships. "The point is that it is only when humans recognise the existence of an entity and become aware of its characteristics that they can begin to imitate it",6 and overdoing-in-imitation is a clear, if extreme sign of such a recognition.

One final remark of a general nature: There is no doubt that putting forward, even producing a text as if it were a translation always involves an individual decision. However, such a decision will inevitably have been made within a particular cultural setup which is either conducive to pseudo-translating or else may hinder recourse to it. No wonder, then, that there seem to be circumstances which give rise to a multitude of fictitious translations, often from the same `source' tradition, and/or executed in a similar way, thus introducing into the culture in question a true model whose cultural significance is of course much greater than that of the sum-total of its individual (i.e. textual) realisations. Such a proliferation always attests to the internal organisation of the culture involved and very little else. In particular, it bears out the position and role of [genuine] translations, or of a certain sub-group thereof, within that culture, which the pseudo-translators seem to be putting to use, trying to deliberately capitalise on it.

For instance, Russian Literature of the beginning of the 19th century was crying out for what became known as `Gothic novels'. In order not to be rejected, however, the texts put forward as novels of this type had to draw their authority from an external tradition, and a very particular one, at that: the English Gothic novel. As Iurij Masanov has shown, in response to this requirement - a reflection of the internal interests of Russian literature itself which had very little to do with the concerns of the English culture - a great number of books were indeed produced in Russia itself - and in the Russian language - which were presented, and accepted, as translations from the English. Many of those were of `novels by Ann Radcliffe', who was at that time regarded in Russia as the epitome of the genre.7

In a similar vein, a former Tel Aviv student, Shelly Yahalom, has argued convincingly that one of the most effective means of bringing about changes in French writing of almost the same period was to lean heavily on translations from English, genuine and fictitious alike, with no real systemic difference between the two.8 As a third example of an overriding tendency towards pseudo-translating I would cite the work of another former student at Tel Aviv University, Rachel Weissbrod, who demonstrated the decisive role fictitious translations, mainly `from the English' again, have played in establishing particular sectors of non-canonised Hebrew literature of the 1960s, most notably westerns, novels of espionage, romances and pornographic novels, where - as previous attempts had shown - undisguised texts of domestic origin would almost certainly have been considered inappropriate and relegated to the culture's extreme periphery, if not totally ejected from it.9


If by `culture planning' we understand any attempt made by an individual, or a small group, to incur changes in the cultural repertoire, and the ensuing behaviour, of a much larger group,10 pseudo-translating would surely count as a case of cultural planning, especially in its most radical forms. Let me conclude by outlining three instances of pseudo-translating exhibiting growing extents of planning along various dimensions.

(a) Papa Hamlet
In January 1889, a small book was published in the German town of Leipzig, whose title-page read:

Bjarne P. Holmsen


und mit einer Einleitung versehen


Dr. Bruno Franzius

The book opened with the translator's preface - the Einleitung announced on the cover - a rather common habit at that time, especially in translations which made a claim of importance. The preface itself was typical too. In the main, it consisted of an extensive biography of the author, Bjarne Peter Holmsen, claimed to be a young Norwegian, but one of the central passages of the preface discussed the difficulties encountered by the translator while dealing with the original text and the translational strategies he chose to adopt. It even expressed some (implicit) concern that a number of deviant forms may have crept into the German text in spite of the translator's prudence, forms which would easily be traceable to Norwegian formulations.

During the first few months after its publication, Papa Hamlet enjoyed relatively wide journalistic coverage: It was reviewed in many German newspapers and periodicals, where it was invariably treated as a translation. The claim was thus taken at face value, precisely as could have been expected. At the same time, none of the reviewers, mostly typical representatives of the German cultural milieu of the turn of the century, had any idea about Bjarne Peter Holmsen and his literary (or any other) career. In fact, all of the information they supplied - which current norms of reviewing encouraged them to do - was drawn directly from the preface supplied by the translator, whose doctoral degree must have enhanced the trust they placed in it, as did the fact that the author's biography seemed to correspond so very closely to what would have been expected from a contemporary Scandinavian writer. Comical as it may sound, at least one reviewer went so far as to draw conclusions from the author's portrait, which appeared on the book's jacket. Quite a number of reviewers also referred to the translation work and its quality, in spite of the fact that none of them detected - or, for that matter, made any serious attempt to detect - a copy of the original; all on the clear assumption that a book presented as a translation actually is one.

Unless, of course, there is strong evidence to the contrary.

And, indeed, a few months later, counter-evidence began to pile up, until it became known that Papa Hamlet was not a translation at all. Rather, the three stories comprising the small book were original German texts, the first results of the joint literary efforts of Arno Holz (1863-1929) and Johannes Schlaf (1862-1941). (The portrait on the jacket - a visual aspect of the overall disguise - belonged to a cousin of Holz's, one Gustav Uhse...)

Thus, towards the end of 1889 it was the uncovered disguise which became a literary fact (in the sense assigned to this notion by the Russian Formalist Jurij Tynjanov11) for the German culture. However, an essential factor for any historically valid account of the case is that, for several months, Papa Hamlet did serve as a translation. Although factually wrong, this identity had been functionally effective; among other things, in enhancing the acceptance of what the two authors wished to achieve, and for whose achievement they decided to pseudo-translate in the first place.

Thus, Holz's and Schlaf's main objective was to experiment in freeing themselves - as German authors - from what they regarded as the narrow confines of French naturalism and getting away with this breach of sanctioned conventions. And they chose to do so by adopting a series of models of contemporary Scandinavian literature as guidelines for their writing, which were considered `naturalistic' too, only in a different way.

At that time, Scandinavian literature was indeed rapidly gaining in popularity and esteem in Germany. As such, it was in a good position to contribute novelties to German literature, and ultimately even reshape its very center. However, when Holz and Schlaf were writing Papa Hamlet, German original writing was still firmly hooked to the French-like models. This made it highly resistant to the new trends, so that Scandinavian-like models were still acceptable only inasmuch as they were tied up with actual texts of Scandinavian origin; in other words, translations.

Disguising a German literary work which took after Scandinavian models as a translation was thus a most convenient way out of a genuine dilemma, where both horns - giving up the very wish to innovate as well as presenting the unconventional text as a German original - were sure to yield very little. Nor was this the only case of fictitious translation in modernising German literature at the end of the 19th century, notably in the same circles where Holz and Schlaf then moved, which may well have reinforced their decision to pseudo-translate.

The two authors were quite successful in attaining their goal too: Papa Hamlet indeed introduced `Scandinavian-like' novelties into German literature, many of them disguised - at least by implication - as instances of interference of the Norwegian original. A non-existent original, to be sure. In fact, the book came to be regarded as one of the most important forerunners of so-called konsequenter Naturalismus, a German brand of naturalism which owes quite a bit to Scandinavian prototypes. A successful instance of transplantation by any standard, due to an ingenious act of planning!

(b) Book of Mormon12
A more extreme case of planning is represented by the Book of Mormon (1830): Here, the innovations which were introduced by means of a text presented (and composed) as a translation gave birth to an altogether new Church, which brought in its wake a redeployment of much more than just the religious sector of the American culture. One cannot but wonder what history would have looked like, had Joseph Smith Jr. claimed he had been given golden plates originally written in English, or had everybody taken the claim he did make as a mere hoax! (According to one Mormon tradition, the golden plates looked very much like a piece of 19th century office equipment, a kind of a ring binder...)

To be sure, it is only those who bought the claim that the Book of Mormon was a genuine translation from an old, obsolete (or, better still, obscure) language, nicknamed `reformed Egyptian' - in spite of the enormous difficulties in accepting such a claim13 - who were also willing to accept its contents as well as the sacredness associated with it. As a result, it was not the entire American culture which absorbed the innovation. Rather, a relatively small group partly detached itself from mainstream culture and formed what became known as "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints". Moreover, the new Church developed not only due to a marked refusal to lift the veil connected with the Book of Mormon, but actually due to an ongoing struggle to improve the disguise and fortify it; in other words, make the Book look more and more like a genuine religious book, which - according to previous traditions in the Anglo-American cultural space - had to be a translation.

Another aspect of the novelty of the Book of Mormon could well be literary. Thus, it has been claimed that

the book is one of the earliest examples of frontier fiction, the first long Yankee narrative that owes nothing to English literary fashions . . . its sources are absolutely American. (p. 67)

In fact, in the 19th century there have been persistent allegations that use had been made of a lost manuscript of a novel by one Solomon Spaulding, which was supposed to have been stolen and passed on to Joseph Smith.14

The possible literary intentions notwithstanding, it is clear that the producers of the Book of Mormon, struggling to establish a third Testament, took advantage first and foremost of large portions of the tradition of Bible translation into English. Regard the way the Book as a whole was divided into lower-level `Books', and especially the names that were given to the latter; for instance,

First (and Second) Book of Nephi
Book of Jacob
Book of Mosiah.

Obviously, there is nothing `natural' about that division or the book names, nor can there be a doubt that both conventions were taken over from the biblical tradition.

As to the subdivision of each individual `Book' to `Chapters' and `Verses', it too was modelled on the Bible (more correctly: its English translations, because Smith didn't even claim to know either Hebrew or Greek). However, this subdivision didn't even exist when the Book of Mormon first came into being. Rather, it was imposed on the English text some fifty years later, not even by the original pseudo-translator himself. There can be little doubt that this was done in a (rather successful) attempt to further reduce the difference between the Book of Mormon and the other two Testaments, thus enhancing its `authenticity' and adding to its religious authority. Within the group which had already formed around the Book, that is. Can there be any doubt that what we are facing here is a whole series of gradual planning moves connected with a particular conception of translation?

To be sure, it is not all that clear what Smith had in mind when the Church was not yet in existence; not even whether he initially planned a religious work with a historical narrative at its base or just a historically-oriented narrative with some religious overtones. Moreover, in spite of the detailed story about how he received the golden plates and translated them, on the title-page of the first edition of the Book of Mormon he chose to refer to himself as `author and proprietor'. Only in later editions was the reference changed to `translator'. By contrast, it is very clear what happened to the Book in future times; namely, in a secondary, much more focussed act of planning. In the same vein, references were later added to `prophecies' which mentioned in the Book, which `had come true', as so many missionary groups have been doing in their versions of the New Testament (and "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" has indeed adopted a strong missionary orientation).

The names used in the Book constitute another feature which reveals a biblical model:

Of the 350 names in the book he [Smith] took more than a hundred directly from the Bible. Over a hundred others were biblical names with slight changes in spelling or additions of syllables. But since in the Old Testament no names began with the letters F, Q, V, W, X, or Y, he was careful not to include any in his manuscript. (p. 73)

To which one could add those names (such as Mosiah) that end with the syllable ah, imitating a common ending in Hebrew whose retention has become part of standard transliteration of truly biblical names even in cases where the Hebrew closing h is silent, and hence phonetically superfluous.

Finally, in terms of its linguistic formulation, the Book of Mormon is an extreme case of what I have called `overdoing it vis-à-vis the source it is modelled on', which is so typical of fictitious translations. Take, for example, the way quotations from the Bible were used in the Book: As is well known, occasional quotation from the Old Testament has already been one of the literary devices of the New Testament, but it was used quite sparsely. By contrast, about 25,000 words of the Book of Mormon consist of passages from the Old Testament, and about 2,000 more words were taken from the New Testament. As Fawn Brodie, Smith's biographer, put it (p. 58), it is almost as if, whenever "his literary reservoir .·.·. ran dry .·.·. he simply arranged for his Nephite prophets to quote from the Bible". To be sure, Smith often "made minor changes in these Biblical extracts, for it seems to have occurred to him that readers would wonder how an ancient American prophet could use the exact text of the King James Bible". However, "he was careful to modify chiefly the italicised interpolations inserted for euphony and clarity by the scholars of King James; the unitalicised holy text he usually left intact". In the same vein, the phrase "and it came to pass" [= it so happened], which is typical to the book's style, appears at least 2,000 times (p. 63), which is really a lot!

(c) The `Kazakh Poet' Dzhambul Dzhabayev
In the most extreme of cases, planning may be so much as imposed on a society from above, by agents endowed with the power to do so; most notably political institutions in a totalitarian society. This is precisely the way pseudo-translating was used, misused and abused in Stalin's Soviet Union, a famous case in point being the patriotic poetry of Dzhambul Dzhabayev.
During the first decades after the Soviet Revolution, an old Kazakh folk singer named Dzhambul Dzhabayev (1846-1945) became famous throughout the Empire. Yet, nobody has ever encountered that man's poems in praise of the regime in anything but Russian, a language he himself didn't speak. Several of those poems were translated into other languages too, most notably in East Germany, always from the Russian version.

Now, at least since the memoirs of the composer Dmitri Shostakovitch "as related to and edited by Solomon Volkov"15 it has become common knowledge that the Russian `translations' of Dzhambul's poems were in fact written "by an entire brigade of Russian poetasters" (derogatory noun - Shostakovitch's), who, in turn, didn't know any Kazakh. Some of the real authors were actually rather well-known figures in Soviet letters, which is why they were assigned the job in the first place: they knew only too well what the authorities expected of them and of their poems. The team "wrote fast and prolifically", Shostakovitch goes on, "and when one of the `translators' dried up, he was replaced by a new, fresh one". "The factory was closed down only on Dzhambul's death", which was made known throughout the world; that is, when he could no longer be taken advantage of in person. Luckily enough (for the planners), he lived to be ninety nine.

Evidently, the Soviet authorities resorted to this practice in a highly calculated attempt to meet two needs at once, each drawing on a different source: The poems had to praise `the great leader' and his deeds in a way deemed appropriate. People of the Russian intelligentsia were in the best position to do that. On the other hand, the new norms which were then being adopted in the Soviet Union demanded that "the new slaves .·.·. demonstrate their cultural accomplishments to the residents of the capital", in Shostakovitch's harsh formulation (p. 164). Consequently, an author for the concoction had to be found in the national republics such as Kazakhstan, and not in the Russian center; and in case a suitable one couldn't be found, one had to be invented.

In this case, as in many others, the invention was not biographical: a forgery of such magnitude - the invention of a person that has had no form of existence whatsoever - would have been too easy to detect, with all the ensuing detrimental consequences. However, it most certainly was a functional kind of invention.: The required figure was thus not made up as a person, but rather as a persona; namely, the `author' in the Kazakh language of a growing corpus of poems which, in point of fact, came into being in Russian. The invented persona was superimposed on an existing person, among other things, in order that someone could be present in the flesh in selected occasions, thus enhancing the `authenticity' of the poems as well as that of their [fictitious] author.

Significantly, comparable methods were used in music, [folk] dance, and several other arts too, which renders the use of fictitious translations in Stalin's Soviet Union part of a major culture-planning operation, and a very successful one, at that (from the point of view of those who thought it out): mere disguise systematically turned into flat forgery.


1. Zohar Shavit. "The Entrance of a New Model into the System: The Law of Transformation". In: Karl Eimermacher, Peter Grzybek and Georg Witte, eds. Issues in Slavic Literary and Cultural Theory. Bochum: Brockmeyer, 1989, 593-600.

2. E.g. Gideon Toury. "Pseudotranslation as a Literary Fact: The Case of Papa Hamlet". Hasifrut/Literature 32 (1982), 63-68 [in Hebrew]; "Translation, Literary Translation and Pseudotranslation". Comparative Criticism 6. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984, 73-85; Descriptive Translation Studies and Beyond. Amsterdam-Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 1995, Excursus A. Others have also tackled this phenomenon, although from slightly different angles; most notably: Julio César Santoyo. "La traducción como técnica narrativa". In: Actas del IV Congreso de la Asociación Española de Estudios Anglo-Norteamericanos (Salamanca, del 18 al 21 de Diciembre de 1980). Salamanca: Ediciones universidad, 1984, 37-53; Anikó Sohár. "`Genuine' and `Fictitious' Translations of Science Fiction and Fantasy in Hungary". In: Lynne Bowker, Michael Cronin, Dorothy Kenny and Jennifer Pearson, eds. Unity in Diversity?: Current Trends in Translation Studies. Manchester: St. Jerome, 1998, 38-46.

3. Two papers of mine, both dealing with this issue, will soon be published. They can also be found on the Internet: Gideon Toury. "Culture Planning and Translation". Forthcoming in: Alberto Alvarez Lugris et al., eds. Proceedings of the Vigo Conference "anovadores de nós - anosadores de vós". URL:; "Translation as a Means of Planning and the Planning of Translation: A Theoretical Framework and an Exemplary Case". Forthcoming in: Saliha Paker et al., eds. Proceeding of the International Conference "Translations: (Re)shaping of Literature and Culture", Bogaziçi University, Istanbul. URL:

4. For more details see: Gideon Toury. Descriptive Translation Studies and Beyond. Amsterdam-Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 1995, 31-35; "The Notion of `Assumed Translation': An Invitation to a New Discussion". In: Henri Bloemen, Erik Hertog and Winibert Segers, eds. Letterlijkheid / Woordelijkheid : Literality / Verbality. Antwerpen/Harmelen: Fantom, 1995, 135-147.

5. Thus, one possible way of settling the long dispute over the authenticity of Macpherson's Ossianic poetry - one of the most influential cases of pseudo-translating in the history of European Literature - is precisely to maintain that it is various elements of a whole tradition of Gaelic oral poetry which underlies it rather than a finite number of instances of performance, let alone one particular (source) text in the Gaelic language for each and every English (target) text. -- See now: Fiona Stafford and Howard Gaskill, eds. From Gaelic to Romantic: Ossianic Translations. Amsterdam-Atlanta, GA: Rodopi, 1998.

6. Carl James. "Genre Analysis and the Translator". Target 1:1 (1989), 35.

7. Ju.I. Masanov. "Lozhnye perevody". In his: V mire psevdonimov, anonimov i literaturnykh poddelock. Moskva, 1963, 99-106. -- By an interesting coincidence, a few decades earlier, the English Gothic novel itself had come into being at least in part under disguise, most notably another famous fictitious translation, Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto (1764). But this was truly a historical `accident'.

8. Shelly Yahalom. Relations entre les littératures française et anglaise au 18e siècle. Tel Aviv: Tel Aviv University [M.A. Thesis; in Hebrew], 1978, 42-52; 74-75.

9. Rachel Weissbrod. Trends in the Translation of Prose Fiction from English into Hebrew, 1958-1980. Tel Aviv: Tel Aviv University [Ph.D. Dissertation; in Hebrew], 1989, 94-99; 355-356.

10. See the sources mentioned in fn. 3 as well as: Itamar Even-Zohar. "Culture Planning and Cultural Resistance". URL:

11. Jurij Tynjanov. "Das literarische Faktum". In his: Die literarischen Kunstmittel und die Evolution in der Literatur, tr. Alexander Kaempfe. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1967, 7-36 [Russian original: 1924].

12. All quotations in this Section have been taken from: Fawn M. Brodie. No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith, the Mormon Prophet. Eyre & Spottiswoode (Frontier Library), 1963 [11945]. (Page numbers are given in brackets.)

13. To be sure, all this occurred a short while after the Egyptian part of the famous `Rosetta Stone' had finally been deciphered. Even laymen heard about this achievement, mostly through the local press. Many developed `romantic' ideas towards it, which may serve as a partial explanation for Smith's selection of his `source language'; especially as a substantial part of the truly biblical stories took place in Egypt or in connection with it anyway. At the same time, even if they saw some blurred pictures of the Stone in a newspaper, the majority had very little idea as to what the deciphered language was like, either in form or in usage. In fact, when Smith was later asked to present some of the `Egyptian' characters he had seen on the original golden plates, he produced a piece of paper which resembled nothing; certainly no hieroglyphs. (The paper is reproduced in Brodie's biography of Smith [fn. 12], facing p. 51.)

14. See Brodie (fn. 12), 419-433.

15. Dmitri Shostakovitch. Testimony: The Memoirs o Dmitri Shostakovich, as related to and edited by Solomon Volkov, tr. Antonina W. Bouis. London: Hamish Hamilton, 1979, 161ff.