chapter  4
Walter Benjamin and the Translator’s Task
Pages 23

The move away from a conception of translation articulated in terms of the opposition between the inside and the outside must therefore, as a consequence, focus on the translatability of any text. It is precisely this move that is made by Walter Benjamin. Benjamin's text will allow for the possibility of developing a conception of translation that neither succumbs nor subscribes to the problems and difficulties that have been identified in the work of Heidegger, Seneca, and Davidson. The most important way of understanding the translation is therefore, following Benjamin, to ask whether the essence of the work can be translated. Benjamin uses the idea of translatability to reformulate the relationship between the original and the translation. The rest of Benjamin's paper involves an important discussion of the relationship between judgement and melancholia. The task of the translator is to rewrite the passage that has already been cited, to release by translating that which is essential to language.