Pin It

Jorge Luis BorgesWhilst Jorge Louis Borges had every intention to rewrite Shakespearean drama he tried to recreate something new that would cut across cultures is not exactly right; rather it would cut across cultures, viewpoints, developments and changes through many spaces and passage of time. Borges’ characters are vivid in form and emotions, conscienceless crimes, debauchery or gruesome male chauvinism, yet magical. Shakespeare’s characters too were savage but sometimes credulous or procrastinate. For Shakespeare emotions and traits play a major undercurrent in all his beings. For Borges they are a collection of various instincts resulting into undaunted fatality. Borges’ fictions burst as giant hearts with immortal energy, Shakespeare’s with tricky attitudes. Rewriting for an art would leave out the work like trees that may shed leaves in autumn and resurge with fresh ones in spring.

In recreating and translating different languages or the same language present themselves as relevant or equivalent or pertinent or not? By relevance it means having the semantic unit in target or source language. These two words show that two different communities identify one thing which is familiar for both of them. For Umberto Eco these two semantic units are not exactly equivalents in significance rather they would be significant with some signifiers. So therefore the semantic equivalents stand as equivalent though, they stand as equivalents with a set of significant systems.

Translation for Derrida remains as a continuous activity goes through the ages brimming along with the boundaries of culture. Well-known poet Subramanya Bharathi’s poems are being translated for the past fifty years in various languages or in the same language many times. When it is translated in a major language like English, various authors bring out the text in its current form. English is a language of change. By culture we mean the postcolonial descriptions don’t deal with culture or periphery but the area deals with subaltern, the other, the absent and the luminal. Nothing stays in center as a puritan form sending its aura all over. Cultures mix together with others and too are bound to counter culture; seeping chronologically endless. Hence culturally puritan and ethnocentrically unique discourses or a fake – especially in an age of liberalism and overgrowth of capitalism. Ethnological patterns change themselves frequently as the pivot of their whirligig is not identified to be one, instead it is multifarious. Genetic structuralism (Goldman) argues for the preservation of change as life instinct through genes and hence genetic patterns that yearn for survival make themselves fit to change. Culture itself is a plural entity and don’t remain unique through the torrid test of time. Time immemorial Puranic texts in India have retained their same forms, yet the perception pave way for multiple reading which is confirmed by William Darlyample. Individual suspensions will to disbelieve and travel together.

Earlier it was said that criminals possessed excellent translations skills as they have to travel on different territories. Film actors and tea vendors in railway stations nowadays possess this talent. Films scribes, platform sellers in metropolis, truck drivers too have multidiscourse talent. Postcolonial text is concerned with the power that resides in discourse and textuality. It resistance takes place within textuality through acts of reading. The postcolonial mode exhibits itself as contestation of post colonialism via context of representation. Different individual cultures contesting themselves within as well as the center try dethrone, de-scribe the empire, that is to say, previously within the physical form and presently into all intellectual manifestations.

Postconolialists say that imperialism and resistance towards it stand as contemporary political text in the form of clashes of opposites. A comparison is to be made that the texts of the empire need not be described as part of the anatomy of the empire but as part of the liquidation of empire’s effects. If this implies the location of the discourse of postcolonialism within the wider concerns of global culture after empire, it is argued that the abstraction of the condition of postcolonialism to the domain of textuality bound to its own set of problems and considerations; the evolving nature of that which is represented is another.

The texts of empire are part of the anatomy of the empire: all texts and hypertexts that are written or non-written act as the byproducts of the empire. They reveal to some degree the collective behavior of the luminal and the superior subaltern of the pivot. Text cannot stand as a wholesome entity in isolation from the omnipresent empire may withstand or collapse.

The empire represents global culture, creates texts of plurality, creates multidiscouse texts, yet tend to dominate or rule. Texts cannot stand beyond the traits of the empire. Therefore the domain of textuality extends the realms of texts or else it expands its vision to the level of the empire.

Translation would only offer relevant text is a common saying. There are theories that translation or transcription remains shadows of the original. But texts all along ages are perceived differently that in one of Shakespeare’s dramas the woman falling in love with a coward and a scoundrel says, “it is better to marry a scoundrel than a coward”. This cannot be accepted in the present context that the cowards only rule this world sitting in front of electronic device. The proposition that is supported by a text may it be a Shakespearean one or Thirukkural thoroughly fail themselves to dictate beyond time. The empire thus creating a text once withers also sees that the created text too vanishes from the scene. The empire’s designs close themselves. The created texts too close themselves.

What is relevant for Derrida is that a word under translation is not simply a verbal body and we are quite often reminded that words should create familiarity in between the translating and the translated. We often forget the other traits of a word, its unity or identity and the emergence of it through historical, institutional and conventional courses. Whilst these structuring words from their spaces, we don’t create newer spaces but often end up in finding new absences.

What happens in literary texts is, the writer creates his own world that no passports for strangers to get in. The text allows someone with a visa of experience that readers can visualize the prism of their own beliefs, nonbeliefs made out of their own willingness. The chain of relationship of a text to the translator entwines as a reader in the initial and later as a creator or translator to the core. Nothing is presented there in its original form, no presence is marked, no representation at the center, but altogether the shadow that makes it s presence to learn more about the spaces that are found around it. Whilst a literary text from western nations are translated Tamil readers gets through a vast landscape of non-tropical nations, different family patterns and individualism in debunked format. Western texts to some degree have taught rationalism, Marxism or even science. The translated text gives them a glimpse of their own new identities or essence. Texts are made out of metaphoric terms or in Umberto Eco’s words metalanguage.


Angalaki 2:3, 1996 London
Bo Patterson, Literary Translation: Theoretical Frameworks Reveiwed
Gayatri Spivak, On Translation
Jaques Derrida, Article on Equivalence
Umberto Eco, Apocalypse Postponed
Umberto Eco, Articles on Translation

- R.Balakrishnan (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

 You can send your articles to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Pin It

Add comment

Security code