chapter  C
Romancing Latin: Renaissance Vernaculars
Pages 6

Every period redefines the inherited notions of the person, perhaps none more than the era of modernisms. Habermas in The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity describes the philosophy of subjectivity as a narrative arising in the Reformation and Renaissance and culminating in the Enlightenment, before disintegrating in the catastrophes of Romanticism and modernism. If theories of language elided the bilingual, so theories of subjectivity tended to assume a monolingual subject, indeed monolingualism as the very grounds of being. Lawrence Venuti proposed that the most effective translations not only preserve the experience of the foreign but stress and exaggerate it, however necessary to disturb the reader with its radical alterity. When they address the matter, twentieth-century translation theories generally stress internal bilinguality, as diglossia contained within the layered cultures of ex-colonial nations. If we can so call Venuti's model, hybridized culture is also being addressed as a contemporary reality and a theoretical problem in many domains.