Elogio dell’inesattezza. Traduzione, scrittura, alterità

Marcello Ghilardi


A specific interest and attention to translation and to the relation between signs, natural languages, and thought spread out not only from the so called “linguistic turn” in the 20th century, but also from the cross-cultural dimension that gained prominency in the last decades. Interlinguistic translation can thus be considered and analyzed as a particular and fruitful field of study for philosophy, because in that experience we have to face the intimate relationship that intertwine form and content, the contingency of expression and the ideal aspiration to a shared, universal truth. The case of Chinese language and thought provide further material to explore, in order to raise more questions about the links among grammar, morphology, system of writing, and the meanings that those structures intrinsecally brings and convey. Re-considering Hegel’s ideas about alphabetical and non-alphabetical writing, and through a peculiar case study of a poem by Wang Wei, we can learn to appreciate in a new way the alterity of Chinese characters and language. Finally, the act of translation can be seen as a model of ethical understanding, in order take into account the Other, without enclosing it into the frames that have been shaped with our own categories


Translation; Chinese writing; ethics

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