Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Translation - a quote from Good

I love what I am discovering in the process of my translation - there is no substitute for the painful work in one's own mind. Edwin M. Good, In Turns of Tempest, A Reading of Job, has this to say - and much more on the possibility and impossibility of translation:

What is the bind that the translator enters? How much originality may inhere in the "translation"? ... certain types of originality that I have eschewed: the temptation to revise the text, rewrite the "original," and translate what was rewritten. That is a kind of tyranny exerted over the text by the translator. Equally, however, translators are bidden to exercise the most abject humility, effacing themselves before the "original" in order to pass on to the reader a version (itself an interesting word: a "turning") that will be recognized as the child of its father. Is there an approach the translator can take that neither rapes the text nor submits to rape by it?... there is a way of reading that succeeds in that. But I am not satisfied that I have yet discovered how to translate that way, and I suspect that I am too submissive to authority.
I will record his influence as I continue with chapters 29 and following. He does not consider these chapters a new section of monologues as does Cheney. Let us see what we discover ...

1 comment:

J. K. Gayle said...

Wow, what strong language. What terrible respect for originality. Thanks for sharing.