Matthew Reynolds

Published On


Page Range

pp. 456–477


  • English

Print Length

22 pages

IV. Close-Reading the Multiplicitous Text Through Language(s)

The world work that consists of Jane Eyre and/in all its translations has open borders: any instance of it is intertextually connected to all the others. This chapter introduces techniques for close-reading such a vast, multilingual text, focusing on the repetitions and transformations of key words, and drawing on the concept of ‘agnation’ as articulated by M. I. M. Matthiessen, as well as William Empson’s ‘complex words’ and Raymond Williams’s ‘Keywords’. It then provides an introductory discussion of ‘glad’, ‘happy’, ‘conscience’ and ‘master’, and their transformations through multiple translations.


Matthew Reynolds

Professor of English and Comparative Criticism at University of Oxford

Matthew Reynolds is Professor of English and Comparative Criticism at the University of Oxford, where he chairs the Oxford Comparative Criticism and Translation Research Centre (OCCT). Among his books are Prismatic Translation (2019), Translation: A Very Short Introduction (2016), The Poetry of Translation: From Chaucer & Petrarch to Homer & Logue (2011), Likenesses (2013), The Realms of Verse: English Poetry in a Time of Nation-Building (2001), and the novels Designs for a Happy Home (2009) and The World Was All Before Them (2013). He is Chair of the International Comparative Literature Association’s Research Development Committee, General Editor of the Legenda book series Transcript, and a Member of the Academia Europaea.