TRANSLATIONS OF THE TRANSLATION ― AN ATTEMPT OF A CLOSE READING OF WALTER BENJAMIN’S ESSAY ‘THE TASK OF THE TRANSLATOR’ AND PAUL DE MAN'S COMMENTARY ON THIS ESSAY

Balázs Kántás, Arburim Iseni

Abstract


Walter Benjamin wrote perhaps the most complex, most interesting essay on the process of translation under the title The Task of the Translator in 1923. This very complex work of literary and translation theory has been analysed and referred to by several literary scholars in the past almost 100 years, the Belgian–American literary scholar Paul de Man among them. The present research article makes an attempt to present a comparative analysis based on close reading of the texts between Benjamin’s original essay and Paul de Man’s commentary, figuring out the possible (and necessary) contradictions and ambiguities of the text, trying to find the answer to the question whether or not translation, at least in the successful sense of the word, exist at all. Deconstructionist way of reading literary and theoretical texts may give multiple answers to the questions about translation, and demonstrate the possibility and impossibility of translation at the same time.

Keywords: literary translation, translation theory, literary theory, Walter Benjamin, Paul de Man, deconstruction, close reading.


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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.0001/ijllis.v10i7.2222

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