The Untranslatable in Philosophy

Large, Duncan (2018) The Untranslatable in Philosophy. In: Untranslatability. Routledge Advances in Translation and Interpreting Studies . Routledge, New York and London. ISBN 978-1-138-08257-1

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This chapter begins by contrasting the top-down problematisations of translatability by translation theorists with the bottom-up solutions to translation problems offered by practising translators. The more upbeat views of Antoine Berman and Roman Jakobson on ultimate translatability are contrasted with the more hard-line theorisations of untranslatability among the German Romantics Schleiermacher, Humboldt and Schopenhauer who, it is argued, are haunted by the prospect of there being some kind of ideal of “translation proper” which any kind of real-world translation falls short of living up to. The second half of the chapter turns to the question of whether philosophy itself is specifically resistant to translation, and gives some examples of translation difficulty from a multi-volume translation project (Nietzsche in English). The chapter concludes, by way of Barbara Cassin, that untranslatability acts as a kind of Kantian regulative idea spurring on practical translation attempts to approach it asymptotically “from below.”

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Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2018 14:30
Last Modified: 26 May 2020 00:18

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