11 feb. 2009

Somewhat less vividly, I remember a paper I wrote also in my first semester in grad school, for a theory course taught by a pleasant but spacey Heideggerian named Halliburton. My paper had the dull title "Some Aspects of Translation." My argument was that the idea that translation was a paradigm for understanding was faulty, because translation presupposes understanding. At some point, you had to assume a level of direct understanding prior to the conversion of a message into some other, secondary language, or you would be stuck in a mise en abyme.

Halliburton liked my paper. Maria Damon was in that course, which was a disaster as far as the actual course itself. The professor didn't really do anything except sit there, so the inmates were running the asylum.

(Note: I just found my folder of these papers so I won't have to rely completely on memory. I'll probably find my 21-year old self both smarter and dumber than I expected.)