Literary translations are worldwide predominantly made from English, which is far ahead of any other language. While various studies have proposed interpretations of this supremacy few have examined translation flows in the opposite direction, studying how literary authors from the periphery can transcend the boundaries of their language and gain access to the center of the global literary world by being translated into English. From the theoretical perspective of a multi-level field approach, we propose a case study of how literary translations from Dutch are published and presented in the UK and the US. The study specifies by which mechanisms Dutch authors overcame the obstacles they encountered on the macro, meso and micro levels. The theoretical framework proposed contributes to sociological understanding of how authors from the periphery can enter an internationally dominant center, demonstrating that such an understanding is part of the same theoretical approach that accounts for the far more frequent flows from the core to the periphery.

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Cultural Sociology
Erasmus University Rotterdam

van Es, N, & Heilbron, J. (2015). Fiction from the Periphery: How Dutch Writers Enter the Field of English-Language Literature. Cultural Sociology, 9(3), 296–319. doi:10.1177/1749975515576940