9 may. 2006

That's one of Borges' approaches to translation: read for the domestic agenda (his essay on the Translations of the 1001 Nights.) The more the domestic residue dominates the translation, the more interesting it is for studying the target culture. By the same token, the further we get away from the time of the translation, the more the domestic agenda becomes obvious. It is not that our translations of Homer are closer to Homer than Pope is, but that we can more clearly see how Pope is a product of his own time. His 18th-centuryness gets in the way of our interest in the 8th century B.C. Our own twenty-first centuryness is not such an obstacle, because it is invisible to us.