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Fr. 30

April 30, 2011

Any translation is always a betrayal,  a result stemming from one of the basic truths of transformation: how can something change all the while remaining identical with itself?

With translation, even the basic form of the sign is lost, along with its sound (a fact that seems to especially rule out the possibility of translation in poetry where every word possesses a higher economy than in prose). Meaning is only approximative, and, in a system where the signs are relative to the existence of every other sign, the change in the relation to the totality cannot fail to result in a change within the constituent elements of the sign itself.

Everything comes back to the trans- element of translation and transformation: the beyond. Can the subject ever truly pass beyond itself? And does this passing into a beyond (linguistically or otherwise) amount to an act of faith in the broadest sense? Faith in a realm where the passage from one system of signs to another is feasible? Or would this instead be their condensation or accretion?

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