更新时间：2018-11-11 作者：伊奥格斯·乔利亚斯 （希腊）来源：广东作家网
反对全球化最初是由左派推动的，现在基本上已经转移到了政治谱系的另一边 —— 因为这两方的定义是由法国大革命期间代表在国民议会中的席位所决定的，对其影响作出判断或许还为时过早，明智地说，无论如何，全球化促进了欧盟的融合。这些成果我们必须记在心上，尤其是希腊，它与外国游客和投资的相互作用，以及和中国的互动与其对全球化积极影响的支持不谋而合。
Literature Translation Globalizaton
To the extent literature involves the right words in the right order, literary writing cannot be conceived outside the confines and freedoms generated by a particular language and its inheritance in a multi-lingual world. In this context, translation is implicated as a dimension of any language.
Globalization coincides thereby with the emergence of languages and their translations, even though we can and should distinguish between globalization as a historical tendency from the beginning of distinct human groups and societies, interrupted by periods of isolation or parallel development, and globalization conceived as a contemporary phenomenon growing on the conclusion of World War II and its political and economic after-effects, now being contested by developments including the referendum in favor of Brexit and the election of U.S. President Donald Trump.
Opposition to globalization, initially fueled from the left, has now mostly migrated to the other side of the political spectrum – as these two sides were defined by how delegates sat in national assembly during the French Revolution, the impact of which it may be too early to judge, it has wisely been said – aggravating, among other things, the integration of the European Union. These are developments we must keep in mind, especially since Greece, given its interaction with foreign visitors and investments, and China, where I am honored to be a guest, coincide in their support for the positive effects of globalization.
Engulfed in families, linguistic and other communities, nations and the world, writers project their individuality in proportion to a need to carry on their projects against unfavorable odds. This becomes a kind of “necessary narcissism,” as I call it, which can get out of hand whenever unmitigated by self-sarcasm.
Writers imagine that they exclusively “own” the language in which they write and indeed they must make it their own, if they wish to write as well as they can. In fact, writers are born in a language that preceded them as their mother did or adopt as a step-mother a language in which they write (for instance, Joseph Conrad or Vladimir Nabokov writing in English or Samuel Beckett writing in French). No writer is yet immortal enough to invent a language, while no human literature has yet been written in a language no one else could read. Authors may be autistic; language is not. The fact that language involves a community of more than one speaker makes translation inherent in language.Ambition and pecuniary reasons make authors wish to see their work translated into other languages. Yet, their necessary narcissism fuels a resistance to any translation of their work into words they have not written.
Without translation we can only read what has been written in the language(s) we know. Without translation there is no world literature, as the Portuguese Nobel laureate José Saramago has succinctly said. Language remains provincial as it can only extend to the imaginary borders of a linguistic community, no matter how large it is. Translation remains seemingly impossible, while doable by definition, in a world afflicted and graced by a Babel syndrome, to the extent dreams of a single language turn into nightmares of extinct languages and cultures. This goes beyond issues of communication or expression narrowly perceived in a self-confessional mode in an age of mobile phones interacting with each other and an internet of things.
Especially those who come from ancient cultures and civilizations – and in a sense we are all Greek, as Shelley claimed, or Chinese, as I may add – should perhaps cultivate a greater sensibility to these conditions, even if enamored by current inventions and practices as they spread in a globalizing environment. In this respect, one must also be generous toward creative misreading of ancient cultures (for example, by Ezra Pound regarding Chinese letters or by a pioneering Hellenist like Johann Winckelmann).
Translation between language texts and contexts is never easy even in non-literary circumstances, as recently demonstrated, when the British government, wishing to avoid European Union translators, asked others to transfer its Brexit white paper into 22 languages. There was a howl when initial translations were posted. There was not only bizarre jargon, but even “German” was misspelled in German as well as the names of some other languages. It is fair to add, nevertheless, that literary authors may applaud this incident, as it confirms the place of bureaucratic writing in the realm of literature, where the original is never true to its translation, according to Borges.
Found or lost in translation? Current experiences unfold in the context of exemplary instances that emerged in conditions of a varying lingua franca, a common language -- as English is today, as Chinese may become in the future, as Greek was in Hellenistic times, a period of intense globalization in the past. That was the time of the Septuagint or Greek Old Testament, the earliest extant translation of scriptures from Hebrew into Greek “by Seventy” (even if 72) scholars, at the request, according to the traditional story, of a Greek king of Egypt for the benefit of Alexandrian Jews who were fluent in Greek, though not in Hebrew.
Found or lost in machine translation? Why not have machines write literature? Will it then be possible to tell the difference? At the moment, I suppose yes, in a practical way, even if it is too complicated to account for the process in words.
Coming here from a symposium -- held last month in Athens by the Hellenic Authors’ Society, while the city is designated by UNESCO World Book Capital -- on the theme of “Why Read?” or the role of writers and books in the future, I can only insist on the significance of translation in strengthening a triangle of reading, which consists of writers, without whom there are no books, of books, without which there are no readers, and of readers, without whom there is nothing.
Words can be like silk; sentences like shawls; paragraphs like garments. Literature is a way to dress oneself as we step out naked into the world.