chapter  1
The Literal and the Figural Translated
Pages 30

Within contemporary philosophical work there is preoccupation, if not fascination with translation. This chapter began by suggesting that any attempt to restrict the range of translation by giving it a single meaning had to deny or refuse the potential for translation to be understood in other ways and hence as a different activity. The word translation names this plurality and hence the word itself can have no content other than this potentially conflictual plurality. The translation into action of translation involves a necesssary transgression of the over-determined nature of the word translation. The issues raised by this over-determination will be pursued via a consideration of the relationship between literal and figural language. The distinction between the literal and the figural involves semantic or rhetorical considerations as well as temporal and evaluative ones. These considerations can be looked at by focusing on the words prior and priority.