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Translation as Oneself

The Re-Creative Modernism in Stéphane Mallarmé’s Late Sonnets, T. S. Eliot’s "Poems</I>, and the Prose Poetry since Charles-Pierre Baudelaire


Noriko Takeda

Translation encompasses the whole of humanness, and, as indicated by C. S. Peirce, translation is interpretation. It involves the cognitive process in its entirety, which is based on the unconscious life force shared globally through the species. Synonymous with «untranslatability» in the challenging ambiguity, the generic unit named modernist poetry represents the potential of human activities as incessant translations. The interactive cognateness of translation and modernist poetry is clarified through this book on the purported untranslatability of the poems by the avant-gardists, in particular, Stéphane Mallarmé and T. S. Eliot. Modernism also accelerated the reformation of Japanese poetry, as is exemplified by a new genre modeled on Charles-Pierre Baudelaire’s poetry in prose. These inspiring texts direct the reader to re-create the world with their multidimensional growth of meanings. The translation of the verbal artifacts plays a key role to the sustainability of human beings, along with their conditions as a circular whole.
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Chapter Six. Salvation as Translation

← 95 | 96 → CHAPTER SIX


As an immanent self-reproduction involving both the conscious and the unconscious, translation makes itself a salvation of the translator and the reader, both as mortal beings. In the network of intertextuality, the author of the original is equally both the reader and the translator. Translation is, in short, digging into the past.

Mainly for verbal transference, translation is significant as a reproduction of linguistic messages. The messages consist of the signs, or words, which are closest to the human body, both semantically and auditorily, different from the other media in imposing visuality with pushed fakery.

Take, for instance, the doctored photograph on the Internet, which intensifies the isolation of the viewer before the computer screen. The viewer would be satisfied by the embellished simulation of the contact with others, without the affecting crudity of physical reality, such as smell, sweat, and heat. The multiplication of visual media entails the risk of stopping the expansion of life, which the linguistic signs try to promote, by stirring the imaginative flights of the interpreters. The mental is connected to the physical, thus triggering the action of the latter. Moreover, verbal communication does not reject face-to-face settings in open space. Attempting to control death and arbitrariness is the first ambition of human culture.

As a singularity emerging from plurality, the translated work casts doubt on the quantitative calculation. The simple addition 1+1 may not easily be executed; the value of 1 varies, according to the situation. Take, for...

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