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Translating Translation

Walter Benjamin on the Way to Language


Veronica O'Neill

What is it about Walter Benjamin’s «Task of the Translator»? As it is clearly seminal to Translation Studies, why is it rarely taken seriously? This book re-examines Benjamin’s text in a broader context and sheds light on this question, so revealing its true potential for Translation Studies and beyond.

When examined in the light of an ontology of language and translation, Benjamin’s philosophy of language displaces age-old and sterile translation theory debates and re-conceptualises translation theory. This broadens the scope of Translation Studies and allows for the relevance of Benjamin’s theory. It is no longer just one theory among many within translation theory. It instead underlies and relates to all translation theories.

This book is of interest for Translation Studies as much as for Benjamin scholars.

Ontology of language and translation – Duality in Translation Studies – Walter Benjamin and duality – Kinship of languages – Pure language of translation – Benjamin’s theory of translation in practice – Benjamin and Heidegger