Analysis Of ' The Task Of The Translator '

1924 Words Sep 16th, 2016 8 Pages
Offering another possible explanation for this interest in Classical culture, Colin Teevan admits that: it does seem to me that Irish writers are drawn to these Trojan stories not simply because the current conflict in Northern Ireland might be analogous to the Trojan War, but also because in the source texts themselves Euripides and Sophocles are drawing analogies between the Trojan War and the Peloponnesian War, a conflict that bears a much greater resemblance to our own, a conflict in which Greek fought Greek and any unifying Greek identity was shattered. (84)
However, while ancient history no doubt plays a part in this interest in Ireland 's ancient genealogy, the act of translation plays an – at least- equally integral part. And in "The Task of the Translator," Walter Benjamin touches upon aspects of translation that would seem to make translation itself an ideal metaphor for cultural exploration. Benjamin posits translation as an almost organic, evolutionary aspect of some literary works. The original literary text, he contends, is a mutable organism that changes over time:
Even words with fixed meaning can undergo a maturing process. The obvious tendency of a writer 's literary style may in time wither away only to give rise to immanent tendencies in the literary creation. What sounded fresh once may sound hackneyed later; what was once current may someday sound quaint. (73) Benjamin terms this period after a literary work 's creation its "afterlife," and…

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