Wednesday, July 18, 2012
In NDPR, Richard Polt reviews the new translation of the Beitr├Ąge.
[T]he new Contributions to Philosophy is an impressive achievement. The vast majority of passages are no more opaque than the original, most of the translators' choices are very defensible, and the helpful appendices include German, Greek, and Latin glossaries as well as a bibliography of other writings by Heidegger to which he refers in this text. Above all, Rojcewicz and Vallega-Neu's more modest understanding of their responsibilities is a refreshing contrast to the first translation. Defenders of Emad and Maly will point to Heidegger's own bold and unconventional translations of Greek. But Heidegger intends his strongly interpretive translations for an audience that is already familiar with the Greek originals and their conventional renderings. In contrast, translators of Heidegger's books into English have the humbler task of providing a reliable approximation of the German for those who cannot read the original on its own. The job certainly requires care, time, and philosophical understanding, but the translator should try to avoid imposing an interpretation through contrivances and constructions that are not there in the German.
The translating is done. Let the reading begin.
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