4 jun. 2009

These are the main ideas about time and anachronism:

(1) One could be "of one's time." That implies synchronicity, contemporaneity, possibly representativeness. Also the possibility that not everyone is of his or her own time.

(2) One could be 'behind" the times. All the rhetoric of belatedness, for example. To be behind one's time implies ideas of contemporaneity also (something to be behind.)

(3) Being "ahead of the times," out in front. In all three modalities (present, past, future) there is an implicit idea of directionality or progress. To be of one's time, one has to be just slightly ahead of the curve.

(4) Being "out of time," atemporal or eternal. Having an oblique relationship to time. Lyric moments of the eternal present or ideas of "universality."

(5) Ideas of recuperation or restitution, making up for past injustices or past defects. Re-creating truer ideas of the past.

(6) The past as a "foreign country." Its fundamental alienness. Even if we think we understand it, do we really? Aren't we always presentist even when trying not to be? Thus are vision is anachronistic by definition, evne in the absence of outright anachronism.

(7) It's a fallacy to present Shakespeare in modern dress, to update him in trivial ways. It's also a fallacy to present Shakespeare in period costume, according to some anachronistic idea of the "Elizabethan." There's no way out either way.

4 comentarios:

Jordan dijo...

So, are you for foreignizing or domesticating "translation" when interpreting works of the past?

Jonathan dijo...

I think you are always domesticating, whether you want to or not. A spurious archaism is also a form of domestication, right? And all archaism is spurious.

Jordan dijo...

Two Spurious Archaisms.

You're right -- Spenser is weirdly cozy. Whereas certain kinds of domestication, such as Paradise Lost or what Marvell was afraid it would be, I always find about as welcoming as a museum or cathedral. Welcoming, but only for a time, leave your shoes at the door etc.

Nada dijo...

Number 7: yes. So true.