“You’re stepping on my shadow, please back off,” she said.

Sun Yisheng / Nicky Harman

Forget Particle Physics…

By Eric Abrahamsen, published

I'm re-reading George Steiner's After Babel, one of the great theoretical texts on translation, and this passage made me laugh:

Thus any light I may be able to throw on the nature and poetics of translation between tongues has concomitant bearing on the study of language as a whole. The subject is difficult and ill-defined. Regarding the possible transfer into English of Chinese philosophic concepts, I. A. Richards remarks: 'We have here indeed what may very probably be the most complex type of event yet produced in the evolution of the cosmos.'

Comments

# 1.   

Yes! I knew I remembered that quote from somewhere!

Man, we should really be getting paid better, huh?

 Brendan, August 21, 2007, 8:59a.m.

# 2.   

No kidding – I intend to make myself a medal that I can wear while I'm translating. Out of papier mache, if I have to.

 Eric Abrahamsen, August 21, 2007, 6:16p.m.

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