Clarity, Soberness, Chastity: Politics of Simplicity in Nineteenth-Century Translation

  • Michèle Milan
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Translating and Interpreting book series (PTTI)


Milan explores the many shades of meaning behind the concept and value of simplicity, and examines the politics, or indeed the poetics of simplicity within the framework of translation history. This twofold investigation first builds upon a broad range of literary, translation, and sociocultural studies, with special attention to classic simplicity, and then draws on a survey of nineteenth-century translation in Ireland. In the nineteenth century, the concept of simplicity was not only bound with ideas of plainness, soberness, clarity, chastity, and purity but also with romantic notions of naturalness and authenticity, or again with democratic ideals of access and equality. Accordingly, this chapter takes into account the interplay of the various historical, moral, religious, and sociocultural forces that shaped translations and the meaning of simplicity.


Nineteenth Century Translation Study Classic Simplicity Religious Life Lexical Feature 
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Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michèle Milan
    • 1
  1. 1.Independent ScholarGalwayIreland

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