Literary translation has often been compared to the rendering of a copy of an original painting.
Although this is an useful methaphor as it suggests that the tranposing of visual form and meaning can be assessed on the basis of resemblance, fidelity and the equivalence thereof, it is only partly true. As in the case of most metaphors, verity is in itself a debatable concept. In the relevant literature it has been suggested that if an original work of art can be shown to reveal deficiencies it should be evaluated against potentially superior resemblances. Accordingly the status of an original text becomes relative and the rôle of the translator should therefore be considered as not only tranposer but also editor and co-author. Valéry puts this into perspective by stating that all writing should be viewed as emulation and in essence as translation. In a previous article of mine I have questioned Van Heerden’s use of the Afrikaans language. In this article Robert Dorsman’s translation of In stede van die liefde is compared with the original text and the conclusion is reached that In plaats van de liefde surpasses the original text by Van Heerden in terms of his use of language as medium of portrayal.