Or the Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators' Revolution


English language

Published by HarperAudio.

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From award-winning author R.F. Kuang comes 'BABEL', a thematic response to 'The Secret History' and a tonal retort to 'Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell' that grapples with student resistance, and the use of language and translation as the dominating tool of the British empire.

Traduttore, traditore: An act of translation is always an act of betrayal.

  1. Robin Swift, orphaned by cholera in Canton, is brought to London by the mysterious Professor Lovell. There, he trains for years in Latin, Ancient Greek, and Chinese, all in preparation for the day he'll enroll in Oxford University's prestigious Royal Institute of Translation — also known as Babel.

Babel is the world's center of translation and, more importantly, of silver-working: the art of manifesting the meaning lost in translation through enchanted silver bars, to magical effect. Silver-working has made the British Empire unparalleled in power, and Babel's research in foreign languages serves the Empire's …

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