7 Pages


The scandals of translation are cultural, economic, and political. They are revealed when one asks why translation today remains in the margins of research, commentary, and debate, especially (although not exclusively) in English. Any description of these margins r isks seeming a mere litany of abuse, the premise of an incredible victimology of translation and the victims it leaves in its wake. Translation is stigmatized as a form of writing, discouraged by copyright law, depreciated by the academy, exploited by publishers and corporations, governments and religious organizations. Translation is treated so disadvantageously, I want to suggest, partly because it occasions revelations that question the authority of dominant cultural values and institutions. And like every challenge to established reputations, it provokes their efforts at damage control, their various policing functions, all designed to shore up the questioned values and institutions by mystifying their uses of translation.