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Wednesday, 21 September 2016
Pym and Ricoeur

In the chapter concerning uncertainty in translation, Pym interacts with Paul Ricoeur's calculated pessimism:

Paul Ricoeur talks about translation in terms of a secret "fear" and even "hatred" of the foreigner ("Sur la traduction", Paris: Bayard, 2004) and sees the translator as maintaining "distance within proximity" (ibid). All these qualities, good or bad, tend to concern the translator's relation with the start text or author, far more than they concern forward-looking relations with clients or readers.

I'm not sure how it would be possible to translate a book that you feared or hated - at least, not without some of your emotion showing through. But perhaps in the translation of Jewish culture into the church and Christian world, that is exactly what happens. Perhaps those who attempt the translation find themselves in a fear or hatred situation and so the translation produced reflects the emotional position of the translator. Thinking about it, I might even have encountered that personally.

Posted By Jonathan, 8:08am Comment Comments: 0