On the task of the translator: Postscript to a review

By Zsuzsa Baross | this article is available in pdf

Preface

This polemic piece was occasioned by the review I had been asked to write of the first volume of Julia Kristeva’s work on Hannah Arendt, Le Génie féminin. When I began to work on the text in Paris I had access only to the French edition, and only upon my return to Toronto did I begin to look at the English translation. The text below is the result of this encounter. It was rejected by several journals at the time, including Critical Inquiry, Theory and Event, International Studies in Philosophy… even by a journal, whose name I no longer recall, dedicated to translation issues. As the major part of the text is a factual documentation of a long series of gross errors in the translation of a major author, and by consequence, of the publisher’s and editor’s negligence, I cannot assume that the reason for the refusal lied in the quality of the writing.

I am grateful for Trahir for allowing the text to appear at last and commend its editors for bringing attention to an issue that is symptomatic of the general malaise ailing our academia, today as much as it did almost a decade ago. [This article is available in pdf.]

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