On cosmopolitan translation and how worldviews might change

Anthony Pym

Abstract


The theorisation of cosmopolitanism can be dated from Kant’s “right to hospitality”, where the reciprocal welcoming of foreigners is supposed to lead to universal understanding. Differences in languages and religions are recognised as obstacles in the way to that ideal, yet Kant has little to say about how to get around their differences – translation is strangely absent. A role for translation in cosmopolitanism nevertheless appears in the discourses that assume an age of effective economic globalisation. The cosmopolitanisms elaborated on by Ulrich Beck (2004/2006) and Gerard Delanty (2009), among many others, adopt a sense of cultural translation that requires no anterior text, no language barrier, and thus no mediator: the cosmopolitan becomes an intercultural space where relations transform subjects. Those views may be tested on the narratives of three Afrikaans-speaking intellectuals who recount how they grew up under Apartheid and progressively dissented from totalitarian discourse. The concepts of cosmopolitan translation are found to explain some of the narratives involved, particularly when the self is seen through the eyes of the other, yet strong social and national frames are still in force, boycotts counter hospitality and reinforce national frames, and language translation is found to be relatively unimportant in a milieu of polyglots.


Keywords


cosmopolitanism; hospitality; translation; Apartheid

Full Text:

PDF


DOI: https://doi.org/10.5842/61-0-918

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.





ISSN 2224-3380 (online); 1726-541X (print)

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License


Powered by OJS and hosted by Stellenbosch University Library and Information Service since 2011.


Disclaimer:

This journal is hosted by the SU LIS on request of the journal owner/editor. The SU LIS takes no responsibility for the content published within this journal, and disclaim all liability arising out of the use of or inability to use the information contained herein. We assume no responsibility, and shall not be liable for any breaches of agreement with other publishers/hosts.

SUNJournals Help