• I. V. LASKA
Keywords: French Encyclopedists, creativity in translation, author's intention , unity of form and content, author's stile, limitation of translator's liberty


French historiography attributes the beginnings of translators' reflection on their creative experience to the German romanticism which had rejected the stereotype of the simple copier translator. However, the problem of creativity in translation was already actively discussed in the XVII-XVIII centuries, in particular, in the writings of the philosophers-encyclopedists. This article highlights the creative aspects of translation summarized in the Encyclopedia and in the work of philosophers and writers gathered around it. His propose is to establish their role in deepening the understanding of the nature of translation and in the change of attitude towards her in French society.

In the introduction we present the theoretical framework of translation's creativity exhibited by Bozée and Marmontel in their articles for the Encyclopedia and shared by most of Encyclopedists. The essential part of the article pays particular attention to the translational conceptions of D'Alembert and Diderot which are based on the comprehension of the text as an inseparable unity of form and content. They determine as the main task of the translator the creation of a text that corresponds to the author’s design and produces the same effect on the reader. This pragmatic turn has the consequence of shifting the emphasis on the reproduction of the author’s personal style, which requires creativity on the part of the translator.

By recognizing the creative essence of translation, the Encyclopedists firmly reject the unjust and contemptuous attitude towards this profession on the part of French society and put it on the same level as that of the writer. The daring comparison of Montesquieu which assimilates the art of the translator to the creation of the geniuses of the Renaissance Michelangelo and Raphael symbolizes this change.


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