By George Steiner
In his vintage paintings, literary critic and pupil George Steiner tackles what he considers the Babel “problem”: Why, over the process heritage, have people built millions of other languages while the social, fabric, and financial merits of a unmarried tongue are noticeable? Steiner argues that varied cultures’ wants for privateness and exclusivity resulted in each one constructing its personal language. Translation, he believes, is on the very middle of human verbal exchange, and therefore on the center of human nature. From our daily conception of the area round us, to creativity and the uninhibited mind's eye, to the customarily inexplicable poignancy of poetry, we're continuously translating—even from our local language.
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Additional resources for After Babel: Aspects of Language and Translation
The question is a good one. And in March 1985 it was asked of Beckett, alongside 399 other established authors, by a team of journalists from the French newspaper Libération. ” Beckett’s reply was terse, pointed and to the point, but without subject and without verb, as though to imply that what distinguished the act of writing was 26 Radical Indecision that it was not an act, nor was it attributable to any intentional or responsible agent. ”41 Good or no good? Competent or incompetent? Hopeless or hopeful?
Circularity or paralysis beckons.
Does this resolve the argument, or merely displace and repeat an aporia? Much might be said of course about the status of the norm that Kant invokes here. Is it to be taken sociologically, as this passage in part seems to imply, or should it be taken transcendentally, as Kant elsewhere insists, notably in §31 of the third Critique? Does the appeal to an ethical imperative in Kant’s analysis of Gemeinsinn imply a retreat from the speciﬁcity of aesthetic judgement defended with such rigour elsewhere?
After Babel: Aspects of Language and Translation by George Steiner