Thursday, February 14, 2013

Cultural Homogeneity and the Future of Literary Translation

A creeping homogenization is developing in prose fiction, a kind of generic international content and style that transcends national borders.
By Burton Pike
Translator Burton Pike,
The equation of language with nation and the nation-state reached its peak in the 19th century. It began to break down seriously around 1900, with the rise of linguistics, semiotics, and language-oriented philosophy and psychology. Language became an independent area of intellectual investigation, investigation directed toward language as such.
In our time, language and nation have become increasingly decoupled from each other. Literary language is no longer considered the marker of a nation; it has become simply instrumental, a medium of communication. This is having an impact on the writing of literature, and consequently on translation.

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