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Strange Words: The Call to Translation

Strange Words: The Call to Translation

(p.144) Chapter Five Strange Words: The Call to Translation
Romanticism and the Question of the Stranger
David Simpson
University of Chicago Press

This chapter focuses on the task of translation, and how language and its diverse forms and kinds always set limits to an understanding of a piece of fiction or poetry. The metaphor is intricately coexistent with translation in the sense that metaphor, like translation, makes the stranger familiar and the familiar strange. The most famous romantic formulation of the task of translation is Schleiemacher’s—wherein the purpose it to either bring the author (Schriftsteller) to the reader (Leser) or the reader to the author. It has always been a lonely task to undergo the process of translating texts written in Greek or Aramaic into a language that can be understood today. Whatever attempt there has been at translation always has its share of consequences. The chapter tackles the problems and challenges—whether cultural, political, or otherwise—that are inherent in translation.

Keywords:   task of translation, metaphor, romantic formulation, Schleiemacher, Schriftsteller, Leser

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