Translation and World Literature

Damrosch begins with an example of one of the oldest lyrics to survived. He notes that “whereas many works of world literature come to us already shaped by complex dynamics of transmission, further shadowed by vexed relations between the originating culture and our own, this text has almost no history at all intervening between us and the moment of its inscription in 1160 B.C.” (412). Because of its survival , brevity, and simplicity, the poem is regarded as art. I’m curious as to how Schleiermacher might categorize this text/lyric as an example of bringing the reader to the author’s linguistic-conceptual world or vice versa? First, in order to classify something as a work of art, its understanding needs to be universal. Now because the gender of the speaker of the text fails to be identified, could one argue that it cannot be considered a work of art since it fails to accomplish such universality? Would this mean that in the case of considering the text art the author should be brought to the reader as the gender of the speaker would be established?

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