Abstract


GLOCALCOLLOQUIES - Vol 1, Issue 1, May, 2015

Walter Benjamin on Translation and Aesthetic Resistance: A Case for Practising Postcolonial Translation

Author: Nehra, Pritika

Category: Research

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Abstract:

In my paper, I shall first present Walter Benjamin’s views on ‘pure language’ as offering aesthetic resistance to the totalitarian idea of the ‘original’ in dominant discourse. A related question is of judging translations either by relative or universal standards. Within the context of translations across various boundaries, any sanitized standard will be solipsistic by default. Thereby we need to reformulate the question in order to appreciate a work of translation by

locating it in the context of the phenomenology of language to arrive at the standards of judging translation. In light of this view, I shall discuss the problem of comparing different languages within a translation from Benjamin’s idea of understanding the other/foreignness of language from the perspectives of various translations rather than understanding the translations through

the source text. Finally as a conclusion, I reflect on the importance of including all contexts and conditions of translation by which translation and a paratranslation exist as a space for deculturization, vulgarization, hybridization and aesthetic resistance.

Keywords: Foreignness, Meaning, Historicity, Translatability, Relationality, Pure Language, Freedom

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