Walter Benjamin opens his argument by expressing his notion that it is useless to take the audience into consideration when analyzing a form of art. He declares, “No poem is meant for the reader, no picture for the beholder, no symphony for the audience.” The discussion then follows by questioning whom the translation is intended for. The suitable response provided states that the translation is created for those who do not understand the original. This would have to be the most likely purpose for expressing “the same thing” twice. One can conclude then that the translation is produced for the reader, but can we not then assume that the original must be formed for the reader as well? If we assume that the art is not created for the reader and is just an expressive element, is there a significant purpose for its translation? It can be argued that society would lack a great appreciation and knowledge of culture without insight into such concepts. For example, translations of the Bible are deemed necessary for the spread of the Word of God. How then does one establish the drive from which art is generated?
My name is Kendall Hughes and I am a senior at Bucknell University. I am a Psychology and Sociology major. I have taken French courses since my freshman year of high school. I also lived abroad in Germany for two years. I am interested in translation studies because I would like to further understand culture differences and how language can contribute to a barrier of understanding among people. View all posts by Kendall Hughes