Translating Oneself: On “Visitors from on High”

Translating Oneself: On “Visitors from on High”

Translating Oneself: On “Visitors from on High”

After a lifetime of translating, self-translating, and being translated, this is my first opportunity to reflect on the subject. For some inspirational succor, I went back to Benjamin’s The Task of the Translator, probably the crux, cross, or crown of every earnest professional in this field. He poses the most radical challenge possible: that the translator risk sounding “un-fluent” in the new language by piercing into it an indenture of schemes belonging to the original. He thinks originals ought to be good enough to deserve such deference.