Sunday, March 20, 2016
In LARB, Geoffrey Bennington reviews the Fortieth Anniversary Edition of Of Grammatology. New intro by Judith Butler.
Translation is, of course, impossible, an experience of the impossible, as Derrida would be the first to point out, and involves a principle of ruin, as Butler recalls. But that does not mean that all translations are equivalently unsatisfactory, or that mistakes cannot often be identified and corrected. Nor does it mean that Derrida could not complain (in the recent 1964-5 Heidegger course, for example), that a given mistranslation can transform the text into a bouillie pour les chats or, as the translator chose to render it, a pig’s breakfast.
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