Matthew Reynolds

Published On


Page Range

pp. 592–617


  • English

Print Length

26 pages

VI. ‘Plain’ through Language(s)

Pursuing the method outlined in Chapters IV and V, this chapter offers a close reading of ‘plain’ in the text Brontë wrote and in multiple translations, presenting a series of instances in video animations and printed multilingual arrays (with back-translations). It explains the argument that is made via reiterations of the word in English and shows how that argument morphs in different directions through translation. It then discusses the different patterns of significance created by repetitions of the French word ‘laid’ in Lesbazeilles-Souvestres’s 1854 French translation and the Italian word ‘brutto’ in the anonymous first Italian translation of 1904.


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.