Translation Effects is a quietly, even stealthily radical book. Translation is a concept with a long pedigree, in scholarship as well as in the medieval period. It can have the most traditional of connotations, from philological notions of original and derivative to ideas of faithfulness and accuracy and consistency through time. Yet, as we all know, medieval “translation” was often practiced as the loosest kind of adaptation—invention operating under cover of transmission. Hurley's study defines its titular concept with beguiling capaciousness, essentially as the traces of carryover from one language to the next, or one text to the next, or even one telling to the next, in time: “translation effects foreground translation as an act even when they do not technically perform it” (p. 3). In this way, translation effects partake of a basic mystery of language, the way the ghosts of past utterances make any present one possible, though...

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