Friedrich Schleiermacher in his “Über die verschiedenen Methoden des Übersetzens” suggests two alternative approaches to translating a work: bringing the reader closer to the work or bringing the work closer to the reader.
Schleiermacher’s first method strives for the impression that the reader would receive from reading the work in the original language — not as a beginner in the language who must first think through the words in his own language, nor as a native speaker, but rather as an educated person for whom the language is both familiar and yet still strange. According to Schleiermacher, this feeling of strangeness is achieved when the translation follows the turns in the original text closely whilst striving not to do any damage to the destination language. At the same time, he stresses that such translations are of no worth if a feeling of strangeness cannot be valued in the destination language — that is, some deviations and innovations must be tolerated. Partly for this reason, such an approach to translation has no worth if only practised haphazardly — to be successful, all of the works of the chosen author must be translated in this way so that the feeling of strangeness can develop associations within the destination language and provide the reader with enough material in which to acclimatise themselves to this strangeness.
The mission of this publishing firm is to publish English translations of all of each chosen author’s published novels and stories to test Schleiermacher’s theory through a ‘close’ translation of the author’s entire corpus by a single translator. Individually the novels should feel strange to read — not just because of their foreign origin, but also because of the distance in time from when they were originally written — but read in sequence, the reader should become acclimatised to it. Does this work? The reader can decide.
(With sample chapters.)