Title: Walter Benjamin’s ‘Task of the Translator’
Prof Bishnu Mohapatra
Director of the Moturi Satyanarayana Centre for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences at Krea University and Professor of Politics, SIAS, Krea University
Venue: 1E, Krea University campus
Date: Friday,December 15, 2023
Time: 10:30 am IST
About the Talk:
German literary critic, essayist, translator and philosopher Walter Benjamin wrote The Task of the Translator as preface to his translation of the French poet Charles Baudelaire’s Tableaux Parisiens.
Going much beyond the task of a preface, this piece is a deeply stimulating reflection on the process of translation, which, ultimately, is not just a transfer of content from one language to another, but underscores “the kinship between languages”. This “kinship” among languages consists in the fact that “in every one of them as a whole, one and the same thing is meant”. Translation, for Benjamin, thus, reflects a yearning towards “the pure language”, which is “the totality of (the) intentions (of all languages) supplementing one another”. This piece has rightly achieved the status of a work whose discussion can not be avoided in any study of translation and its theory.
Professor Bishnu Mohapatra will reflect on this thought-provoking piece.
About the Speaker:
Apart from his work as a political scientist and as Director of the Moturi Satyanarayana Centre for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences, Prof Bishnu Mohapatra is also a well-known Indian poet. He has authored five books of poetry and has translated two volumes of Pablo Neruda’s poetry into Odia. A volume of his poetry in the English translation, A Fragile World, was published in 2005, and a book in the Hindi translation, Buddha aur Aaam, was published in 2022.
Note: Attendance is mandatory for the students of the class LITT 308 –Translation. All are welcome!