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Aesthetics of Assimilation and Ethics of Difference:Two Approaches of Literary Translation

선영아 1

1한국방송통신대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The translation of literature has developed revolving around two opposing approaches: Aesthetics of Assimilation which focuses on familiarizing foreign ideas using native terms of the prospective readers, and Ethics of Difference which tries to leave intact the unfamiliarity of foreign texts, highli대ghting the differences between the cultures involved. The current debate centers on the question of Ethics. It is concerned with a realization that translation plays a critical role in the cultural encounters of the globalized world, especially when the rein of globalization is in the grip of hegemonic language regions. A. Berman and L. Venuti criticize the ethnocentric strategy as an unethical practice, recommending another approach that “strategically” lets foreign elements stand out. This particular emphasis on Ethics of difference is derived from a serious contrition on the side of occidental world, after centuries of its ethnocentric translation of the non-occidental world. It is undeniable that translation presents many ethical problems which need to be addressed. Nonetheless, if we suppose a universal ethics of translation, independent from the specific situations in which the selection and translation of foreign texts take place, we are ignoring the fact that the social practice of translation is performed in a given context of a given culture. Therefore, before we determine which translational practice is ethical and which isn’t, we need to observe more closely how the Aesthetics of Assimilation and Ethics of Difference manifest themselves in the diverse cultural contexts, and how they organize the discourses regarding translation and how they realize them. This will allow us to recognize that the difference in the mode of translation is simultaneously the difference in the relation that one establishes between the Self and the Other, and finally, the difference in the mode of existence of a given culture.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.