Linguistic Potentiality and Technological Reproducibility: Walter Benjamin's Theory of Translation Revisited
|Keywords:||語言潛勢;翻譯;科技複製;書寫;全球化;linguistic potentiality;translation;technological reproducibility;orthographic writing;globalization||Issue Date:||2015||Abstract:||
本論文旨在探討如何從語言與科技之關聯性重新閱讀德國思想家班雅民的翻譯理論。近年伴隨文學文化研究的「翻譯轉向」熱潮，學界多援引班雅民翻譯理論檢視諸多相關現象。本研究企圖重新深入討論班雅民最核心的關懷，卻也是最為人忽略的語言及科技背後的潛勢面向。班雅民最為人所知的「後世」(afterlife)概念常被認為是比喻性的說法，但對班雅民而言，那代表著一股真實存在卻又無以名之的潛勢，其運作讓語言逃離被矮化為工具的可能性。隨著班雅民對馬克思主義有更多接觸，他重新修正早年語言理論，在神學的關懷之外加入歷史面向，認為語言記錄了人與物之間「非感官近似性」(nonsensuous similarity)的模倣關係，語言和人一樣從時間之外進入時間，一方面繼承了神性的無限可能，另一方面則以不停以重複作為基礎演化並延續生命。語言作為人與周遭世界互動的關鍵媒介，所代表的是物質形體中的真實生命。本研究試論班雅民晚期作品以人和物的模倣關係開展科技技術影響人類共同經驗的說法，筆者也將以當代法國哲學家史提格勒(Bernard Stiegler)提出之「誰」(the who)與「什麼」(the what)互相成立之理論深化物質層面的相關討論。因此，本論文將探討翻譯、語言及書寫作為科技客體的根本問題，重新探討班雅民翻譯理論的獨到之處，最後根據討論結果檢視重譯現象以及全球化時代的翻譯特質，探討高度科技發展的時代裡，翻譯、語言與科技的關係呈現何種特色。故本研究涉及以下重要提問：一、班雅民如何以語言表意與非表意的雙重面向開展語言潛勢？二、班雅民如何從語言理論過渡到物質與科技的討論？語言與科技的關係為何？三、人和物相互模倣、相互成立之關係如何使書寫成為一種特殊的科技客體？四、全球化時代的翻譯活動所呈現之語言、書寫與複製之間的關係為何？希望藉此提升討論翻譯的視野，並對文學翻譯實踐和理論的提升有所助益。
This study aims at an investigation into the intricate interplay between language and technology in German thinker Walter Benjamin’s theory of translation. With the recent “cultural turn” in literary studies, Benjamin’s theories have been widely cited in literary, cultural and translation criticism. However, concepts of communicability and reproducibility as potentiality in his thought on language and technology is often overlooked in his translation theory; thus, my discussion will center on these topics. One of Benjamin’s most well-known concepts on translation as “afterlife” tends to be read as a figure of speech, but in fact it refers to the unnamable potentiality of language that helps to prevent the reduction of language as a mere instrument. With his increasing interest in Marxism, Benjamin further revised his language theory in the 1930s. He incorporated historical elements into theological concerns, maintaining that language contains the traces of nonsensuous similarity between man and matter. The divinity and infinity of God’s Word is inherent in the language of man. When man is expelled from the paradise and falls into time and mortality, language is also transformed and continues its own life in repetitions. As Benjamin sees language as a key medium with which man interacts with the world around him, the question of how technology and human experience are interrelated is particularly significant to his discussion of Techne. This study is meant to provide a rereading of Benjamin’s conceptualization of language so as to explore the fundamental questions of translation and writing in our own age. Contemporary French philosopher Bernard Stiegler’s theorization of technics is used in the discussions to ask how translation, writing and technical prosthesis are related to one another and how they are to be understood in our highly globalized world. Specifically, this study would address the following questions: how does Benjamin deal with linguistic potentiality through the antithesis between the communicable and non-communicable aspects of language? How is Benjamin’s theory of language and translation related to his later thinking on technological reproducibility? In other words, how is linguistic potentiality related to technological reproducibility? Also, how does the mimetic bond between man and things in Benjamin’s conceptualization and the transductive relation between what Stiegler terms the who and the what help to see language and writing a singular technical object? And finally, how are translation, orthographic writing and reproducibility related to one another in our globalized age? Hopefully, these discussions of translation could provide new insights into the nature of translation as a special technical object in our age.
|Appears in Collections:||外國語文學系|
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