e-10 C OMPAR AT IVE L I TE R AT UR E ST UDIE S (20) in Emmerich’s particular trade, but conceptually applicable to transla- tion generally. Full acceptance of this, she thinks, could be transformative; an exhilaration comes over her when she celebrates the kind of liberated practice she has in mind, such as George Economou’s incorporation of all the alternative readings in a Greek worksheet of Cavafy’s into a single English poem. The Spicer chapter ends with a giddy prospect of jouissance: “What might it look like if we, as translators, gave ourselves the freedom to engage in forms of citational correspondence whose goal was not to reflect or represent but to grow, to mess around, to destroy the pieces, to magic poetry forward in excitingly non-original ways?” (189). I am not sure the theoretical correction would change as much as Emmerich hopes. As she notes, the poststructuralist premise of “textual instability and semantic indeterminacy” (2) has already become common wisdom in the humanities, and not all that recently; its failure to dislodge the things that bug Emmerich about the way people talk about translation isn’t necessarily just a failure of conceptual will. Her principal object of
Comparative Literature Studies – Penn State University Press
Published: Jul 15, 2019
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