On the passage of transcendent messages
Johnnies and Mehmets
Translation is one way texts are accorded transcendence, understood as material transfer from a site of utterance. Although frequently construed as a quality of texts or auctorial virtue, transcendence is enacted by receivers (including translators) pulling texts across time and space, transforming them accordingly. Study of a war-commemoration text attributed to Atatürk shows this happening in its transfer to Australia. The historical authorship of the text has been contested, and analysis of its various translations and interpretations reveals competing interests, strategic omissions, distributed intercultural agency, and inscriptions. However, the historians involved in the debate, in both Turkey and Australia, have not sufficiently considered translation analysis, which can find some justification for the questioned text. Further, an ethics of cross-cultural communication might question the translation as an appeal to resolution based not just on the commonness of human suffering but also the shared concealment of guilt.
Keywords: transcendence, translation, Atatürk, Turkey, Australia
Keywords: traduction, Atatürk, Turquie, Australie, Anzac
Published online: 04 August 2016
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Davis, George Frederick
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