Sunday, 9 October 2016
Drawing near the last pages of this book, Pym engages with the work of Antoine Berman.
Berman recognises that translations will always produce cultural change, and that there will thus always be the temptation to associate change with translation.
This could foster either side of a cultural translation process claiming that they can't understand or can't communicate due to the translator or translation.
Berman nevertheless does not accept the account of many theorists of cultural translation who emphasise untranslatability, resistance and maintenance of foreignness in all processes of translation.
It can happen. Sometimes translation, particularly cultural translation, just doesn't work. We need to accept that. Some of the things we want to say or to explain, simply won't get across - not through any fault of our ours - but simply because the conditions, the vocabulary, the context, are wrong or unavailable. We need to keep trying though.