A. Changing Concepts of Language and Translation
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This conclusion presents some closing thoughts on the key concepts covered in the preceding chapters of this book. We hope that this survey of literary self-translators leaves readers rather humbled by the venerable history, the complex cultural transactions, and the extraordinary utility of the dual text through the centuries. The model of audience spaces helps elucidate the continuities and dissimilarities of the bilingual text as functions of deploying literary idiolects in different reading cultures. We have discovered that it is rather a structure of continuities, on the order of repetition with variation, that best characterizes the self-translators' enterprise over the centuries. We have found that this is so primarily because bilingual writers across the centuries seem to share certain notions about language. In literary critical work on past centuries, this unstated premise, when it addresses self-translation at all, also tends to impose a structure of split into languages, identities and selves.