Beckett, Literature, and the Ethics of Alterity by Shane Weller (auth.) PDF

By Shane Weller (auth.)

ISBN-10: 0230506062

ISBN-13: 9780230506060

ISBN-10: 1349544787

ISBN-13: 9781349544783

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Extra resources for Beckett, Literature, and the Ethics of Alterity

Example text

The metaphysical concept of alterity is subjected to deconstruction by Derrida, but remains crucial to his thinking of the trace, of differance, and of literature in their irreducibility and their foreignness to all presentation, essentiality, and identity; beyond that, alterity remains at the very heart of his attempt to think an ethics of hospitality, grounded as that ethics is in the value of the other. The relationship between literature and an ethics of alterity is also at the centre of recent commentaries on the postmodern.

The very difference between the native and the foreign cannot withstand the force of translation as it is theorized through Blanchot's dispatching of Benjamin. Hi:ilderlin's translations now disclose the truth that difference, as 'pure scission', is always 'prior' (Blanchot 1997b, 61), always already present in language. In other words, for Blanchot's non-naive Benjamin, in the beginning was not the Word, but in other words. The original is always already foreign to itself.

Paraphrase would be a subcategory of translation in this more general sense, as would commentary and, indeed, interpretation itself. The word 'translation' would in fact be a translation of 'interpretation', and hermeneutics a theory of translation. Returning, then, to the question of whether it is ever ethical to translate, but this time dispatching it in other words: If to comport oneself ethically is, as Derrida argues in A Taste for the Secret, to show 'respect for the other' which it to say, not just to acknowledge the other as other, but to recognize the other in its value, and to locate that value precisely in the other's alterity (see Derrida 2001, 63) - can we ever know if we are translating ethically or not, if we are respecting the alterity of the original or not?

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Beckett, Literature, and the Ethics of Alterity by Shane Weller (auth.)


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