Thursday, January 31, 2013
At the Jaipur Literature Festival, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak on avoiding misreadings.
As Spivak, perhaps the most formidable cultural theorist of our times, pointed out, translations can be dangerously deceptive. A passage from the German philosopher Martin Heidegger, for instance, when translated into English, can become divested of its “Euroracist” overtone. The only way of avoiding such misreadings, according to Spivak, is to learn foreign languages, a tough, if not impractical, call.
Before reading Nietzsche, and Aristotle, you must first devote a decade to learning German and Greek, natch.
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