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Translating (as) Excess: Toward Communitas in the Hermeneutics of a Saturated Phenomenon

Translating (as) Excess: Toward Communitas in the Hermeneutics of a Saturated Phenomenon Jordan a. YamaJi Smith Translating (as) Excess Toward Communitas in the Hermeneutics of a Saturated Phenomenon Literary translation--as a hermeneutic event laden with competing demands, an impossibility of simultaneously performing, replicating, transferring, mediating too many functions--has been understood as something of an interpretive heresy toward the literary sublime: that untouchable, perfect complexity of the text must be profanely touched for translation. And the touch of translation is always too rough, too awkward, leaving traces, damaging delicate appendages, or knocking the structure off balance. This view posits translation as something inherently at odds with a text's fundamental ontology: the text is always damaged or silenced piecemeal in translation. The restrictive emphasis on the ontology of a literary text allows translation critics to judge and dismiss a translated text according to impossible standards. It is not that translation itself is impossible so much as that a virtual infinitude of interpretive emphases creates or reconstitutes a text in too many ways to render in a single translation. Literary translations simultaneously face so many competing demands, it is as though in translation, a text is suddenly responsible for standing up and declaring its laden ontology in one polyphonic burst. Structure, rhythm, meter, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Comparatist University of North Carolina Press

Translating (as) Excess: Toward Communitas in the Hermeneutics of a Saturated Phenomenon

The Comparatist , Volume 38 (1) – Oct 31, 2014

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © Southern Comparative Literature Association.
ISSN
1559-0887
Publisher site
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Abstract

Jordan a. YamaJi Smith Translating (as) Excess Toward Communitas in the Hermeneutics of a Saturated Phenomenon Literary translation--as a hermeneutic event laden with competing demands, an impossibility of simultaneously performing, replicating, transferring, mediating too many functions--has been understood as something of an interpretive heresy toward the literary sublime: that untouchable, perfect complexity of the text must be profanely touched for translation. And the touch of translation is always too rough, too awkward, leaving traces, damaging delicate appendages, or knocking the structure off balance. This view posits translation as something inherently at odds with a text's fundamental ontology: the text is always damaged or silenced piecemeal in translation. The restrictive emphasis on the ontology of a literary text allows translation critics to judge and dismiss a translated text according to impossible standards. It is not that translation itself is impossible so much as that a virtual infinitude of interpretive emphases creates or reconstitutes a text in too many ways to render in a single translation. Literary translations simultaneously face so many competing demands, it is as though in translation, a text is suddenly responsible for standing up and declaring its laden ontology in one polyphonic burst. Structure, rhythm, meter,

Journal

The ComparatistUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Oct 31, 2014

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