Invisible Work: Borges and Translation


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The latter understood it as such and their old friendship was not endangered. There is no authority of the author. Anything he wanted to say, he has written what he has written. Once the text is published, it becomes as a device which anyone can make use of in his liking and according to his means; it is not sure that the constructor make a better use of it than another. If we employ these two ideas to Borges' tale, we can notice how Menard's story seems to be their narrative transposition. In Borges's short story, indeed, we attend to the deconstruction of Cervantes' authority upon his own words that do not belong to him any more.

This attitude is assimilable to Benjamin's idea of the translation as the promoter of the afterlife of the original, since, as De Man noted, in Benjamin's idea of afterlife the original is already dead. Cervantes has no authority upon his words because the words that he conceived died with him; Menard, hence, is not contesting the originality of Cervante's novel, but rather his authorship upon the text, as a translator he simply gives an afterlife to the novel which is not necessarily related to the original sense of the text.

Eventually, it is necessary to observe a further relationship established by Borges' Pierre Menard On the other hand, the list sets the ground for the further analysis of Menard's invisible work, that, despite its apparent incongruence, is inextricably tied to this catalogue. The ninth chapter of the Don Quixote diverges from the principal story to narrate how Cide Hamete Benengeli's manuscript is found and translated, the thirty-eighth concerns the debate on arms and letters, and the twenty-second tells the incident with the galleys' slaves.

On the other hand, the latter latently represents translation since in this chapter the jargon which is used to communicate among the galleys' slaves must be translated to Don Quixote in order to make him understand. Therefore, this kinship towards translation between Borges' tale and Cervantes' novel could be one of the reasons for the selection operated by the Spanish writer.


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This specular and mimetic connection between the two texts creates a narration that can be compare to matryoshka doll; we read a text presented as a critic review that tells the story of a literary critic who attempted to translate — an act that Benjamin associated to critical theory - a novel which is itself a meta-fictional narration. Eventually, we should stress another element that apparently could seem to be contingent, the fact that Menard is a native French speaker that attempts to write originally in Spanish.

The Invisible Work By Joel S Goldsmith

This primordial translation will constitute the basis for the factual translation operated by Menard. From the beginning of the description of Menard's invisible work Borges' establishes that Menard's aim was not to adapt the original novel to our time, i. Menard does not intend to an anachronistic narration of Quixote's adventures. The oeuvre of the French symbolist would rather be assimilated to the work of the original author of the Don Quixote. Indeed, he identifies an extreme way to be able to produce the Quixote, that is becoming Cervantes and experiencing his biographical events that contributed to compose the novel.

It is not in vain that three hundred years have gone by, filled with exceedingly complex events. I have taken on the mysterious duty of reconstructing literally his spontaneous work. Menard's awareness of the impossibility of his task, however, allows him to produce the perfect translation of Cervantes' text.

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Indeed, he adopts a methodology that seem to perfectly correspond to the one conceived by Benjamin, firstly because Menard decides to produce word by word Cervantes' original but through his own subjectivity. Therefore, Menard succeeds in maintaining a strict bond with the original, his interest in the Word as the fundamental element of his work allows him to create something original that avoids the mere transmission of a meaning.

Written in the seventeenth century, written by the "lay genius" Cervantes, this enumeration is a mere rhetorical praise of history. Menard, on the other hand, writes:.

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In the passage mentioned above there are obviously other implications such as Borges' philosophical conception of History that we are consciously omitting; however, Benjamin idea of the change, that inevitably affects the language during the afterlife of a text, does not seem to diverge from Borges' position. What sounded fresh once may sound hackneyed later; what was once current may someday sound quaint. Besides the destabilising nature of the phrase, Borges seems to represent Menard as a ventriloquist whose voice resonates between the lines of Cervantes' text, it is the original Spanish novel that, as Benjamin suggested, imposes its translatability, simultaneously its translation does not affect any more the life of the original, but rather its afterlife that can be extended by Menard's work.

Labyrinths: selected stories and other writings. By Donald A. Yates and James E. The latter understood it as such and their old friendship was not endangered.

There is no authority of the author. Anything he wanted to say, he has written what he has written. Once the text is published, it becomes as a device which anyone can make use of in his liking and according to his means; it is not sure that the constructor make a better use of it than another. If we employ these two ideas to Borges' tale, we can notice how Menard's story seems to be their narrative transposition. In Borges's short story, indeed, we attend to the deconstruction of Cervantes' authority upon his own words that do not belong to him any more.

This attitude is assimilable to Benjamin's idea of the translation as the promoter of the afterlife of the original, since, as De Man noted, in Benjamin's idea of afterlife the original is already dead.


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  • Cervantes has no authority upon his words because the words that he conceived died with him; Menard, hence, is not contesting the originality of Cervante's novel, but rather his authorship upon the text, as a translator he simply gives an afterlife to the novel which is not necessarily related to the original sense of the text. Eventually, it is necessary to observe a further relationship established by Borges' Pierre Menard On the other hand, the list sets the ground for the further analysis of Menard's invisible work, that, despite its apparent incongruence, is inextricably tied to this catalogue.

    The ninth chapter of the Don Quixote diverges from the principal story to narrate how Cide Hamete Benengeli's manuscript is found and translated, the thirty-eighth concerns the debate on arms and letters, and the twenty-second tells the incident with the galleys' slaves. On the other hand, the latter latently represents translation since in this chapter the jargon which is used to communicate among the galleys' slaves must be translated to Don Quixote in order to make him understand.

    Therefore, this kinship towards translation between Borges' tale and Cervantes' novel could be one of the reasons for the selection operated by the Spanish writer. This specular and mimetic connection between the two texts creates a narration that can be compare to matryoshka doll; we read a text presented as a critic review that tells the story of a literary critic who attempted to translate — an act that Benjamin associated to critical theory - a novel which is itself a meta-fictional narration.

    Eventually, we should stress another element that apparently could seem to be contingent, the fact that Menard is a native French speaker that attempts to write originally in Spanish. This primordial translation will constitute the basis for the factual translation operated by Menard. From the beginning of the description of Menard's invisible work Borges' establishes that Menard's aim was not to adapt the original novel to our time, i.

    Menard does not intend to an anachronistic narration of Quixote's adventures. The oeuvre of the French symbolist would rather be assimilated to the work of the original author of the Don Quixote. Indeed, he identifies an extreme way to be able to produce the Quixote, that is becoming Cervantes and experiencing his biographical events that contributed to compose the novel. It is not in vain that three hundred years have gone by, filled with exceedingly complex events. I have taken on the mysterious duty of reconstructing literally his spontaneous work.

    Menard's awareness of the impossibility of his task, however, allows him to produce the perfect translation of Cervantes' text. Indeed, he adopts a methodology that seem to perfectly correspond to the one conceived by Benjamin, firstly because Menard decides to produce word by word Cervantes' original but through his own subjectivity. Therefore, Menard succeeds in maintaining a strict bond with the original, his interest in the Word as the fundamental element of his work allows him to create something original that avoids the mere transmission of a meaning.

    Written in the seventeenth century, written by the "lay genius" Cervantes, this enumeration is a mere rhetorical praise of history. Menard, on the other hand, writes:. In the passage mentioned above there are obviously other implications such as Borges' philosophical conception of History that we are consciously omitting; however, Benjamin idea of the change, that inevitably affects the language during the afterlife of a text, does not seem to diverge from Borges' position. What sounded fresh once may sound hackneyed later; what was once current may someday sound quaint.

    http://bbmpay.veritrans.co.id/cualedro-para-conocer-gente.php

    What I Lost When I Translated Jorge Luis Borges — by Andrew Hurley | Inverse Journal

    Besides the destabilising nature of the phrase, Borges seems to represent Menard as a ventriloquist whose voice resonates between the lines of Cervantes' text, it is the original Spanish novel that, as Benjamin suggested, imposes its translatability, simultaneously its translation does not affect any more the life of the original, but rather its afterlife that can be extended by Menard's work.

    Labyrinths: selected stories and other writings. By Donald A. Yates and James E. Katz is the C. He received his B. From Oxford University.

    Invisible Work: Borges and Translation

    He has translated more than fifteen Russian novels into English, including works by Herzen, Chernyshevsky, Turgenev, Dostoevsky, and Tolstoy. He has worked extensively in the queer arts community in Puerto Rico, including a founding role in Producciones Mano Santa , which has sponsored cultural and artistic productions over the last ten years. He specializes in modern Japanese literature and cinema, media history, and translation studies.

    Invisible Work: Borges and Translation Invisible Work: Borges and Translation
    Invisible Work: Borges and Translation Invisible Work: Borges and Translation
    Invisible Work: Borges and Translation Invisible Work: Borges and Translation
    Invisible Work: Borges and Translation Invisible Work: Borges and Translation
    Invisible Work: Borges and Translation Invisible Work: Borges and Translation
    Invisible Work: Borges and Translation Invisible Work: Borges and Translation
    Invisible Work: Borges and Translation Invisible Work: Borges and Translation
    Invisible Work: Borges and Translation Invisible Work: Borges and Translation

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