La (ragionevole) prassi dialettica della traduzione e le sue regole

Stefano Marino


In this article I outline a conception of translation as a human practice that is dia- lectical, reasonable and not entirely governed by rules. In my contribution I use a concept of dialectics that is general and broad, not connected in a strict way to a single thinker or a single paradigm of dialectical thinking, and that is aimed to emphasize that a translation work is always characterized by dualities, by the simulta- neous presence of different or even opposite dimensions that a good translator must take into account and be aware of. Following a stimulating insight offered by the Italian historian of philosophy and translator Franco Volpi, I attempt to investigate the particular form of reasonableness that a good translator must have and that can be understood in terms of sensitivity, tactfulness, know-how and respect for the otherness of the translated text. On this basis, following the suggestions offered by such different thinkers as Quine, Davidson, Benjamin and Gadamer about the partial indeterminacy and incompleteness of every translation and about the role played by interpretive components, I finally propose to understand translation as a human practice that, while necessarily relying on the possession of certain norms, methods or techniques, at the same time cannot be simply reduced to a mechanical application of rules. This leads me, in the final section of my article, to take into account Wittgenstein’s so-called rule-following paradox and to see if, how and to what extent it also applies to the specific case of translation.


Aesthetics; Translation; Rule-Following

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