After Babel, by George Steiner

Read anything good recently? You don't have to write a review. If it was good, mention it here. If it was rotten, mention it here.

Please include both the name of the book and its author(s) in the title of your posting. Our gratitude for your considerateness will be your reward!
Post Reply

After Babel, by George Steiner

Post by tony h » Mon Dec 11, 2006 3:50 pm

Has anyone read After Babel by George Steiner. It has sat on my bookshelves since the early 80's but has never quite managed to get to the top of my current reading list. Should it?
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: tony

I'm puzzled therefore I think.

After Babel, by George Steiner

Post by tony h » Fri Feb 09, 2007 2:56 pm

after a rather lackluster response by word wizards I was about to dispose of the book but the following article has made me change my mind:

`Translation has long needed a champion, and at last in George Steiner it has found a scholar who is a match for the task.' Sunday Times First published in 1975, After Babel constituted the first systematic investigation of the theory and processes of translation since the eighteenth century. In mapping out its own field, it quickly established itself as both controversial and seminal, and gave rise to a considerable, and still-growing, body of secondary literature. Even today, with its status as a modern classic beyond question, many of the books insights remain provocative and challenging. For the second edition of After Babel, George Steiner entirely revised the text, added new and expanded notes, provided a substantially updated bibliography (including much Russian and Eastern European material), and wrote a new preface setting the book in the present context of hermeneutics, poetics, and translation studies. `Steiner's subject is extravagantly rich and he ponders it on the most generous scale...his language and his ideas display even-handedness, seriousness without heaviness, learning without pedantry, and sober charm.' New Yorker
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: tony

I'm puzzled therefore I think.

After Babel, by George Steiner

Post by NogaNote » Mon Apr 30, 2007 7:13 pm

I read this book many years ago. The first part is a response to Chomskey's language theories which I left unread. The second part is about translation history and theory. It is a good and useful read for those interested in Translation. The only thing that would bother me today about it is the masculinity of his hermeneutics. The language often speaks of penetration and piercing, etc, by way of describing what translators do. There is certainly an erotic dimension to translation (the kind of erotics Anne Carson invokes when she speaks about writing) but my own preference is to minimize the image of violence that the term "penetration" calls forth. And anyway what translator can ever be sure that he/she has penetrated the language translated to its very quick? Excavation seems like a more reasonable approach even though it may be less alluring.

This is probably not very helpful. I am currently reading another one of Steiner's books "Real presences".
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

After Babel, by George Steiner

Post by zmjezhd » Mon Apr 30, 2007 7:16 pm

I enjoyed it when I first read it a decade or so ago, and have returned to it recently to skim and dip it at random paragraphs. I found it interesting and enjoyed Steiner's style.
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

ACCESS_END_OF_TOPIC
Post Reply