Event Date: 13 June 2016
Royal Holloway, University of London
Egham, Surrey TW20 0EX
Keynote Lecture at the 2016 Postgraduate Colloquium
Professor Clive Scott (Professor Emeritus, School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing University of East Anglia) – Imagining a Philosophy of Literary Translation
We too often ask of a literary translation what account it gives of an author or a work, without further asking what it contributes to translation itself. But if translation is not an occasional specialist service, but a mode of writing our reading of a foreign, or indeed a native, text, that is, potentially a mode of writing in which we all might participate, then we need urgently to know what kind of knowledge we invest in it and derive from it, how it affects our being-in-the-world, how it relates us to our environment. For these reasons, literary translation deserves a philosophy. But despite our absorbing the thinking of philosophers on translation – for example, Schleiermacher, Benjamin, Derrida – we have done relatively little to examine translation as a mechanism of consciousness, or of perception, or of linguistic experience. In beginning to nibble at this particular challenge, this lecture looks at translation in relation to time, situation and sense, to try to grasp how it redistributes categories, brings to visibility what is hidden in a text and re-organizes expressive energies as an experiment in the renewal of articulacy.
Introduction by Professor Eric Robertson (RHUL):