An excursion across the boundaries of language and culture, this provocative book suggests that national identity and cultural politics are, in fact, "all in the translation". Translation, we tend to think, represents another language in all its integrity and unity. Naoki Sakai turns this thinking on its head, and shows how this unity of language really only exists in ourAn excursion across the boundaries of language and culture, this provocative book suggests that national identity and cultural politics are, in fact, "all in the translation". Translation, we tend to think, represents another language in all its integrity and unity. Naoki Sakai turns this thinking on its head, and shows how this unity of language really only exists in our manner of representing translation. In analyses of translational transactions and with a focus on the ethnic, cultural, and national identities of modern Japan, he explores the cultural politics inherent in translation.Through the schematic representation of translation, one language is rendered in contrast to another as if the two languages are clearly different and distinct. And yet, Sakai contends, such differences and distinctions between ethnic or national languages (or cultures) are only defined once translation has already rendered them commensurate. His essays thus address translation as a means of figuring (or configuring) difference. They do so by looking at discourses in various historical contexts: post-WWII writings on the emperor system; Theresa Hak Kyung Cha's dictee; and Watsuji Tetsuro's anthropology....
|Title||:||Translation and Subjectivity: On Japan and Cultural Nationalism|
|Number of Pages||:||232 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Translation and Subjectivity: On Japan and Cultural Nationalism Reviews
The conceptual challenge in this book is immense, and I think I'm going to need to read it again, but the power of the critique that Sakai presents in this book extends far beyond the questions that Sakai himself asks. The reflexivity and exteriority of his critique, I think, is a good indicator of the timeliness and urgency of this book to be read by those concerned with questions of postcolonial issues, of the political ramifications in contemporary treatments of comparative area studies, and even in linguistics and the philosophy of language.Scholars of Japanese thought might find in him a formidable opponent, since he engages well-known thinkers such as Watsuji Tetsurō and Kobayashi Hideo, among others. His critique is a forceful one: the narrative of particularism is borne out of the schematization of a constructed imaginary and its Other, and that such a mutually dependent schema produces a subject that understands difference to be representation rather than interruption. Closer to home, the issues he raises concerns itself with questions of nationalism and particularism, specifically the insistence of some academics on a "Filipino Philosophy" or some other modality of academic area that is circumscribed by ethnic and national boundaries. But I think the genius of Sakai is his inclusion of literary criticism in the whole discussion on nationalism and representational thinking. He clearly has a commanding grasp of the themes of the literary pieces that he analyses, and one can only wonder how exactly he "sees" those nuances and readings on those texts. Taken in its totality (since the book seems to be a jumble of ramblings from a angry postcolonial thinker who has come to be hated by the very object of his studies) the books seems to ride on a heterogenous theme, which is perfectly fine since to establish a narrative unity enclosed upon itself is to force the contradiction on his work. One can only stand in awe at the heterogeneity of this work, which, for some reason, makes so much sense (if sense is not taken to be a synthetic apperception of consciousness - sorry Kant).All in all, a fine book, and as a reviewer once noted, an essential text for postcolonial thought. I am going to read this again.
Sakai likes little postmodern play, and you to follow him in this, you have to wear your romper. My first reading of essays collected in this book was very exciting; it blew my little mind to think about translation as creating meaning. Take that, Habermas! On my recent revisit, Sakai exhausted me, and I began to wish for a homologous voice (Sakai rails, rails against the homologous).I love the idea of play - from Schiller to Sakai - as a way to make us more human, but...Also: I noted that Lu Xun, the Chinese writer, plays a big role for both Sakai and Takeuchi Yoshimi. Without the time and capacity to really elaborate on that here, it at least seems worth a little comparative thought that both these intellectuals who would reinsert Japan into Asia find him so singularly compelling.
A classical postcolonial text!!!