Proprioception of the body politic: "Translation as phantom limb" revisited
Revising the author's 1996 argument in "Translation as Phantom Limb," the article argues that the proprioceptive system, a proprioception of the body politic, which controls the phantom limb phenomenon, has a collective extension that organizes group behavior--and that translation is in essence an extremely complex social activity involving the alignment of two collective proprioceptive systems (source-cultural and target-cultural) in order to produce a single text. Through close readings of Viktor Shklovsky's essays on estrangement, the author shows that postcolonial translation theories from the early nineties, like those offered by Venuti, Niranjana, and Cheyfitz, are essentially talking about the enlivening effect temporal and cultural estrangement can have on the readers of a translation. A version of this article was delivered at the 2006 ATA Conference in New Orleans as the Marilyn Gaddis Rose Lecture.
Published online: 20 February 2009