Re-writing Hegemony in "Babel"
A Greek Translation of T.S. Eliot's "Four Quartets"
This paper seeks to determine the ways in which the translation of T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets by the post-war Greek poet A. Decavalles challenges the hegemony of this major text of the Western canon. Four Quartets is considered an anti-local poem, expressing the desire for the creation of "classic" English, which presupposes a transcendental linguistic essence and a "universal" perspective. Decavalles evinces an active attitude towards translation both in his reference to it as "re-creation" and in his creation of a target text which is at points not fluent, and even problematic. The opacity of the rewriting of Four Quartets in Greek, a language of a peripheral European country, constitutes a political act of resistance to Western (modernist) hegemony as it undermines the metaphysical certainties of Eliot's text.
Published online: 24 March 2000
Adorno, Theodor W. and Max Horkheimer
Bassnett, Susan and André Lefevere
Lefevere, André and Susan Bassnett