Douglas Robinson’s Translation Theories Explored
2 The Ideological Impetus to Robinson’sTheoretical Innovation: Deconstruction 49
49 CHAPTER 2 The Ideological Impetus to Robinson’s Theoretical Innovation: Deconstruction “Paradigm shift” was first used by Kuhn to describe a change in basic assumptions within the ruling theory of natural science. The Routledge Companion to Postmodernism argues for the cultural paradigm shift: “Kuhn’s paradigm shift can be applied outside the natural science. The notion of cultural paradigm shifts is now widely accepted. One such shift might be from modernity to postmodernity” (Sim 2001: 298). Deconstruction, as a main branch of the postmodern movement, has contributed significantly to the cultural paradigm shift from moder- nity to postmodernity. Deconstruction has revolutionized longstanding metaphysical and logocentric approaches and has provided radical ways of studying the social sciences and humanities, including translation studies. The breakthroughs in translation studies have been accompa- nied by cultural paradigm shifts – from the philological paradigm to the structuralistic paradigm and then to the deconstructivist paradigm. De- construction, along with other postmodern approaches, pushes trans- lation studies into a new “cultural turn” stage and helps translation studies break through the confinement of the structuralist paradigm. However, due to the limitations of both deconstruction itself and the cultural ap- proaches to translation studies resulting from deconstructive applica- tions, translation studies must seek to develop beyond deconstructive paradigm. Robinson’s research on translation benefits from the postmodern philosophies including Derrida’s deconstruction.20 In view of the exist- ing misinterpretation of Robinson’s translation theory as deconstructive, which inevitably blurs the distinction between the two theorists’ phi- losophies, this chapter aims to clarify the complex...
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