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After Babel: Aspects of Language and Translation (original 1975; edition 1998)
by George Steiner (Author)
After Babel: Aspects of Language and Translation by George Steiner (1975)
Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0192880934, Paperback)When it first appeared in 1975, After Babel created a sensation, quickly establishing itself as both a controversial and seminal study of literary theory. In the original edition, Steiner provided readers with the first systematic investigation since the eighteenth century of the phenomenology and processes of translation both inside and between languages. Taking issue with the principal emphasis of modern linguistics, he finds the root of the "Babel problem" in our deep instinct for privacy and territory, noting that every people has in its language a unique body of shared secrecy. With this provocative thesis he analyzes every aspect of translation from fundamental conditions of interpretation to the most intricate of linguistic constructions.
For the long-awaited second edition, Steiner entirely revised the text, added new and expanded notes, and wrote a new preface setting the work in the present context of hermeneutics, poetics, and translation studies. This new edition brings the bibliography up to the present with substantially updated references, including much Russian and Eastern European material. Like the towering figures of Derrida, Lacan, and Foucault, Steiner's work is central to current literary thought. After Babel, Third Edition is essential reading for anyone hoping to understand the debates raging in the academy today.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:36 -0400)
George Steiner's essential tome on linguistics, hailed by the New York Times as a "dazzling inquiry into the possibility of translation" In his classic work, literary critic and scholar George Steiner tackles what he considers the Babel "problem": Why, over the course of history, have humans developed thousands of different languages when the social, material, and economic advantages of a single tongue are obvious? Steiner argues that different cultures' desires for privacy and exclusivity led to each developing its own language. Translation, he believes, is at the very heart of human communication, and thus at the heart of human nature. From our everyday perception of the world around us, to creativity and the uninhibited imagination, to the often inexplicable poignancy of poetry, we are constantly translating-even from our native language.
(summary from another edition)
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