[lit-ideas] Re: Stenka Rasin

  • From: Donal McEvoy <donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 26 Apr 2008 12:34:43 +0000 (GMT)

--- On Fri, 25/4/08, wokshevs@xxxxxx <wokshevs@xxxxxx> wrote:
> > WO: Very, very rarely do I find that the
> > translation of a sentence from one of these 
> > languages to another is either
> > impossible or is severely distortive of the sense 
> > of the original text.
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > That's because you have a philosophical style of 
> > mind. If instead you were a poet or a comedian, 
> > you would discover a world of wordplay, allusion, 
> > and metareference that does not survive translation.

It seems to me both views can be correct. The propositional content of text is 
rarely (if ever) untranslatable or translatable without severe distortion. 
However, many things important from a literary point of view (allusion, 
alliteration etc) may not be preserved, or only partially and with difficulty 
preserved, in any translation.

If it were not itself a problematic distinction, we might say the substance can 
easily be preserved but rarely the style (and that literary types often see the 
style as indivisible from the substance, whereas philosophical types rarely do).

Sunny Minerva

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