Abstract : Deconstruction is a trend of thought which is opposed to and challenged the academic norms and the mon sense, especially the mon model of knowledge represented by the traditional structural linguistics. As the initiator and one of the representatives of deconstruction, the French philosopher Jacques Derrida held that deconstruction aimed to eliminate duality and to deconstruct originality and nucleus. Based on the guidance of Derrida’s thinking and his deconstructive view towards to translation, the work of Kathleen Davis—Deconstruction and Translation reconsidered some theoretical and practical issues as well as the implications of deconstruction for translation.
摘 要 ：解构主义思潮挑战和冲击了以共同知识模型为代表的传统结构主义.作为解构主义的代表,法国哲学家德里达认为解构主义旨在消除二元论和解构本源中心论.基于德里达对翻译的解构主义态度,戴维斯的作品—解构主义与翻译重新提出理论和实践问题以及解构翻译的影响.
Key words: deconstruction, translation, difference, limit, iterability
关 键 词 ：解构主义；翻译；差异；局限；重复性
“There is nothing outside the text”or “there is no outside text” (1967a/1974:158). He has since further explained it as “there is nothing outside context” (1988:136). Derrida’s work ‘Des Tours de Babel’ was written
Through a story of “make a proper name” in ‘Des Tours de Babel’ , it deconstructs the concept that a universal language could ever exist, by demonstrating the limit of language: the Shemites cannot attempt linguistic transcendence, without bringing ‘confusion’ into their language. Moreover, in imposing his name, God deconstructs himself. A proper name, which cannot signify without inscription in a language system, must function in a relation of difference with other signifiers.
In order to express the spatio-temporal differential movement of language succinctly, Derrida has coined the neologism difference. Derrida notes that while the French verb difference has two meanings, roughly corresponding to the English ‘to defer’ and ‘to differ’, the mon word difference retains the sense of ‘difference’ but lacks a temporal aspect. But Derrida says that difference is not a concept or even a word in the usual sense, we cannot assign it a ‘meaning’, since it is the condition of possibility for meanings, which are effects of its movement, or ‘play’. In the interpretation of meaning, any signifying element that seems ‘present’ “is related to something other than itself, thereby keeping within itself the mark of the past element, and already letting itself be vitiated by the mark of its relation to the future element” (1972c/1982:13). For instance, if I say that I am cold, the concept of coldness to which I refer is not an essence in and of itself, but signifies only through its relation to concepts of cool, warm, hot, etc./ which are absent from my statement, and are not, of course, presences in their own right. The same holds true for aspects of context: I could say that I am cold as I e out of the ocean on a cloudy summer day, and I could say that I am cold as I trudge through a mid-winter Canadian snowstorm. In fact, the referential function of language depends upon the possibility of the absence of a referent.
The limit, as Derrida uses it, does not indicate a clean-cut boundary between entities. As an example, we can consider the borders of a nation, which, on the one hand, borders mark the nation’s identity and thus its political possibility, on the other hand, borders mark the nation’s relation to other nations, without which it could not be recognized as a nation. By marking the relation to the other, borders indicates that the nation carries within itself the trace of what it has differed/deferred in its emergence. The limit of a language, then, is not ‘decidable’ or absolute, but both a boundary and a structural opening between languages, contexts.
A proper name stands apart from language, but at the same time cannot signify without inscription in a general code. Its signification is that differential play of traces, and cannot, therefore, be extracted from the event. The theme of a transcendental signified took shape within the horizon of an absolutely pure, transparent, and unequivocal translatability. In the limits to which it is possible, or at least appears possible, translation practices the difference between signified and signifier.
The difference between the signifier and signified is not made possible because a signifier can point to some meaning that has a reality outside of language, but because language accrues, through fairly regulated repetition of signifiers in a general code, certain instituted meaning effects.
As Derrida’s discussion of the difference between signifier and signified indicates, he uses the example of Shakespeare’s work to prove that all is historical through and through. The iterability of the trace is the condition of historicity. Derria is not positing stability and instability as opposite poles between which one can find promise, rather, stability and instability are mutually constitutive necessities. Thus, while stability gives us access to texts, it is also limited, for several reasons. First, there is always difference at the origin. Second, stability is also limited because neither a text’s author nor its enactment in one context can fully determine its repetition in another context. In Derrida’s point of view, every sign “can break with every given context, and engender infinitely new contexts in an absolutely nonsaturable fashion”(Derrida 1972c/1982:320) The fact that a sign can never be fully determined is made especially obvious by – but is certainly not restricted to – cases of adaptative translation and wordplay.
How does one identify a literary or sacred text Derrida returns the question to thw process of translation, and reverses the expected order of things. The literary and the sacred do not, as self-defined presences, precede translation, rather, a text bees literary when it appears “untranslatable”, when it seems as impossible to translate as a proper name. At that point, it ‘gets sacralized’: if there is any literature, it is sacrad, it entails sacralization. This is surely the relation we have to literature, inspite of all our denegation in this regard. The process of sacralization is underway whenever one says to oneself in dealing with a text: basically, I can’t transpose this text such as it is into another language, there is an idiom here, it is a work, all the efforts at translation that I might make, that it itself calls forth and demands, will remain, in a certain way and at a given moment, vain or limited. This text, then is a sacred text. Derrida 1982/1985:148).
Derrida suggests, signifies simultaneously a “colonial violence and a peaceful transparency of the human mun
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