I respectfully suggest that readers interested in both flip the order.
*When did this thing called postmodernism actually start? Sterne? Cervantes? Potocki? De Selby?
Oh blimey. I got carried away again. Promised myself not to do that anymore. I’ll shut up after this. (Like: There's much more interesting stuff that kvetching about - literally - words.) Just this: I’d rather READ and share the frigging JOY of reading than sit in a corner and eye Bolano’s translator with suspicion. Whatever the asshole academics (and I do know them, I am one) tell you: The power of writing doesn’t stop at mere linguistics.
Quoting myself from Chad's blog:
As a nasty footnote: To me, it seems that monolinguals (and monolingual cultures) have a much harder time accepting translations for what they are: approximations of what an author was doing, in her own historical time and place, which is anyway an approximation of what said author /wanted/ to do in said historical/spatial circumstances, than multilinguals (and multilingual cultures) do. This, methinks, is not unlike the type of paranoia often exhibited by the deaf – there’s a joke being played on them, continuously, behind their back, they feel, and life would be so much better if only they could put their finger on it! (“There’s something happening here, but you don’t know what it is, do you, Mr. Green?”)
Ah, but Green’s argument is much more incisive than that — he pushes it firmly into the realm of qualia. The good man writes about his fear that the translator “in some other way failed to adequately render the original in a way that would dupicate [sic] the Russian reader’s experience of Grossman’s text”. Granted, no translator can adequately render the original that way. But neither can anyone currently alive (even a German-writing Jew living in Prague) have the exact duplicate of the experience of any contemporary reader of Kafka – that time is past, that culture is gone. The same goes for paintings (how to duplicate the experience of the Parisian bourgeoisie when first confronted with Monet?) or music (how to duplicate the experience of being the first to hear Le Sacre du Printemps? Or, for that matter, the Stones in 1965?). Or lit: Me going to the Globe to see/hear/smell Much Ado About Nothing (just a random title I picked, for no particular reason) isn’t the same, by a long shot, as going to its very first performance. Or any other Shakespeare performance in the next few centuries. Which is why we have all these different directors and actors reinventing these plays, and still they call it Shakespeare. Dude, that’s how rich the text is!Taken seriously, Green’s argument makes ANY form of criticism impossible. Because nobody’s experience can ever be duplicated, not any reader’s, not any writer’s. (For a more high-brow and metaphorical treatment of this point, see, of course, Borges’ wonderful tale of Ménard duplicating Cervantes. Oops. This is assuming that Green reads Spanish, because, well, wow, can’t read/judge Borges in translation, can we?) So, neither me nor anyone else can ever win this argument with Green, because Green did set himself up at some unassailable position. (Good thing so many philosophers of mind did write in English.)
All art is translation, all the time. It all shifts, it shimmers, it cannot be captured. Which is why writers have such utter disdain for critics, who run around with nets and, if the writer doesn’t agree to sit still long enough, with baseball bats or sniper guns. Ever wonder why Perec looks at the camera the way he does, in that famous haunting picture? (Perec. French.)All I’m saying is this: Have a little faith, bro, in the professionalism of translators and the power of the text!
adequately render[s] the original in a way that would dupicate [sic] the Russian reader's experience of Grossman's text.
Allow me to quote another brilliant passage from Green’s blog:
“Which is why I concentrate, both on this blog and in my other critical writing, mostly on fiction written in English, even more specifically on American fiction since I feel most able to engage with texts composed in American English (and also with the cultural realities often underlying American language conventions).”
Let’s play around a bit with this, shall we?
“Which is why I concentrate, both on this blog and in my other critical writing, mostly on paintings done in North America, even more specifically in the United States of America since I feel most able to engage with depictions of cultural realities often underlying American cultural conventions.”
“Which is why I concentrate, both on this blog and in my other critical writing, mostly on music composed in the United States of America since I feel most able to engage with sounds produced by my fellow Americans (and also with the cultural realities often underlying American muscial conventions).”
“Which is why I concentrate, both on this blog and in my other critical writing, mostly on fiction written in American English, even more specifically on fiction written by white males since I feel most able to engage with texts composed in Standard American English (and also with the cultural realities often underlying contemporary white male language conventions).”
Time, in other words, for Mr. Green to pull his lazy head out of his spastic colon and listen to some Bach and look at some Picasso and read some Bolano. Or some Shakespeare. Or perhaps some Toni Morrison.
All culture is translation, even if only from mind to mind. All of it.
IA #78-01 - 8/20/08, REVISION TO IMPORT ALERT #78-01, "DETENTION WITHOUT PHYSICAL
EXAMINATION OF PENIS ENLARGERS AND ERECTION MAINTAINING RINGS"
*** The revision of this Alert dated 8/20/08 is to revise the Guidance. Also,
the attachment list of specific firms was removed from this alert since
the alert applies to all manufacturers of all such devices. ***
TYPE OF ALERT: *** Detention Without Physical Examination, (DWPE) ***
PRODUCT: Penis Enlargers
Erection Maintaining Devices
OR SHIPPER: All
SHIPPER I.D.#: N/A
I.D. #: N/A
CHARGE: "The article is subject to refusal of admission pursuant to
Section 801(a)(3) in that it appears to be a device, the label
of which fails to bear adequate directions for use
[Misbranding, Section 502(f)(1)]."
Charge Code: DIRECTIONS ***
OFFICE: Division of Import Operations & Policy, HFC-170 and CDRH, HFZ-
ALERT: The use of penis enlargers and erection maintaining rings may
have harmful effects. They may aggravate existing medical
conditions such a Pegronies disease, priapism, and urethral
stricture. They may contuse or cause rupture of the
subcutaneous blood vessels, which may produce hemorrhage and
hematoma formation. Additionally, frequent use of erection
maintaining rings may result in ecchymosis of the proximal
portion of the penis and scrotum, and the lymphatic stasis of
the penis. Prolonged use of the rings may cause gangrene of
Basically, the labeling of these devices falsely states or
implies they will treat impotence, prolong erection, and
increase the dimensions of the penis.
These devices generally fall into the following categories:
1. Mechanical stretching devices.
Those employing weights, or lines tied to other parts of
the body (such as the knee), to affect tension on the
2. Vacuum operated devices.
Those employing a sealing principle in the area of the
base of the penis and an evacuation mechanism to drop
the atmospheric pressure around the penis thereby
effecting increased blood flow.
3. Constrictive Rings.
Those devices which constrict the base of the penis
after erection has been achieved and cause the erection
to be maintained by blocking the normal circulation of
blood from the penis.
4. Supportive devices.
Those devices which function as a splint or cradle in
order to maintain a resemblance of turgidity
*** GUIDANCE: Districts may detain without physical examination, unless
exempted by 21 CFR, Section 801.109, all devices in the above
described categories. Districts may also be able to detain
such devices under IA 89-08, "DWPE of devices w/o approved
PMA's or IDE's and other devices not equivalent or no 510K."
If there is any question whether or not any device encountered
falls into the above described categories, contact CDRH,
Division of Compliance Operations, HFZ-332, at 240-276-0339.
MAN IN PLANE, STANDING UP SUDDENLY, HOLDING UP SMALL PLASTIC RING FOR ALL TO SEE: Listen up, you people! I've got a cock ring right here...
MAN: ... And I'm not afraid to use it!
PASSENGERS: Noooooo! [A few faint.]
MAN: Unless my demands are met, I will club you all to death with the erection it will provoke!
PASSENGERS: [Close-ups of faces reflecting shock, despair, and naked fear.]
Spellberg became part of a burgeoning controversy when an email she sent to Random House regarding The Jewel of Medina, a to-be-published historical novel about Aisha, the wife of the Prophet Muhammad, was leaked to the press. Spellberg reportedly informed Random House that publication would expose Random House employees to Islamic terrorism and that Muslims would react with the kind of violence seen in past controversies over the The Satanic Verses and the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons. No actual threats were received by Random House.
In the meantime, the Bush administration keeps bashing China and multiple countries of the former Soviet Union for their human rights records.
MORRELL: Even if he were acquitted of the charges that are before him, he would still be considered an enemy combatant and therefore would continue to be subject to continued detention. Of course, that said, he would also have the opportunity to go before the administrative review board and they could determine whether he is a suitable candidate for release or transfer.
But in the near term, at least, we would consider him an enemy combatant and still a danger and would likely still be detained for some period of time thereafter.
What do we do? We send the Marines!Phew! That was, dare I say, a narrow escape!
For might makes right,
And till they've seen the light,
They've got to be protected,
All their rights respected,
'Till somebody we like can be elected.