The Influence of Publishing Strategies on the Process of Translation: the case of Milan Kundera
Throughout history, translation has never been an isolated activity or an independent literary entity; it has always been tailored by interior and exterior influential factors. In terms of social agents involved in the production of translations, the publishing industry is increasingly becoming a driving force in translation. Publishing is an integral part of the process, which controls mechanisms of translation and dictates editorial rules. Publishers have a huge influence on choosing books to be translated and on hiring translators, and thus on the way the translations are received by the audience. Despite their huge ascendancy however, little research has been carried out in this area. The purpose of this paper is to discover the extent of the publisher’s influence on the translated text. Given that translation theory has often focused solely on the author–translator relationship, our objective is to demonstrate that the translation process is not an ordinary dyadic relationship between a source text and a target text, or a translator and an author, but is a central meeting point for a mixture of relationships in which publishers play a hegemonic role. The publisher`s influence is discussed here through one particular controversial case: Milan Kundera’s novel The Joke (Žert), which first appeared in 1967.