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Translation and Transcendental Language - Focusing on Siphyundamjuhae by Han Yong-un -

Park, Hyun-soo 1

1경북대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Walter Benjamin, in his essay “The task of the translator”, argues that the task of the translator does not depend on how well he does in translating the original text with his technical ability at the human level, but on how well does in demonstrating the ability to call and evoke the transcendental ‘pure language’ in the intermediate stage in languages. He found his ultimate goal in the discovery of transcendental language implicitly delivered through the meeting of these languages, ​​thereby excluding concern for secular languages. This means that he deals with the problem of language and translation from the point of view of extrinsic transcendence. Han Yong-un is noteworthy in that he establishes his view of language and translation by turning Benjamin’s extrinsic transcendence upside down. In the footnotes of his annotated book Siphyundamjuhae(십현담주해), Han Yong-un argues that his footnotes have been established by the interpretation of ‘unexpressed meaning’(言外之旨) in which the difference from others exists.(According to Roman Jakobson, translations such as this are a kind of ‘inner language translation’) His ‘unexpressed meaning’ is similar to Benjamin's ‘pure language’ in that it is not inherent within the text or the language but is supposed to be located outside. But when it is specifically reviewed, Han Yong-un’s ‘unexpressed meaning’ is a meaning that is inherent within the language and, at the same time, keeps the transcendental state rather than the meaning which exists irrelevant to the text. He calls this meaning in the translation of Buddhist scriptures ‘the sacred meaning'. The difference of views between Benjamin and Han Yong-un regarding transcendental language comes from the difference of views towards transcendence or world. Han Yong-un consistently argues for intrinsic transcendence while Benjamin puts stress on extrinsic transcendence. Han Yong-un regards the earth as the place where transcendence has already been accomplished, namely ‘beyond-here’. The ‘here’ in ‘beyond-here’ is not the target of ‘beyond’ but the consequence arrived through the ‘beyond’. It is not to go ‘there’ beyond or independent of ‘here’ but ‘here’ is the already reached place that has already passed through the several ‘beyond’ waves. His poem anthology, Nimui Chimmuk(님의 침묵) is the accumulation of this point of view. This anthology is the (poetically realized) philosophical response to the Siphyundamjuhae, that is, the consequence of the translation with the different language of ours. Therefore, the two translations are mutually complementary. Siphyundamjuhae is no more a translation responding poetically to the original poem than Nimui Chimmuk is translation as a different language. The intersection of the two is ‘beyond-here’ as the immanent transcendence. The achievement of Han Yong-un is conspicuous when we refer to the voice of Benjamin about translation.

Citation status

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