To Liberate Charybdis, to Fall in Love with Scylla. On the Monstrosity of Translation

Anna Kowalcze-Pawlik


The essay outlines a “critical genealogy” of the notion of resemblance which structures the hierarchical relationship between the impeccable Original (Man, the source text) and its ultimately imperfect, failed copy (woman, translation). I examine the analogy between translation and the female that has prevailed in modern scholarship, and reveal its other, subversive side. The displacement of meanings in this repetitive analogy clarifies the relationship between the source and the target text in the light of the Butlerian notion of “critical mimesis”: a subversive play of meanings that takes place in the performative continuum of cultural translation.

Słowa kluczowe: Aristotle, Judith Butler, translation as imitation, translation as mimétisme, gender (in) translation, cultural translation

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