Publication details [#8601]

Pym, Anthony. 1998. On the translatability of Australian aboriginal myth. URL
Publication type
Article in jnl/bk
Publication language
Edition info
Text originally published in Catalan as "Qüestionement de la traducció del mite", Mites australians, Ed. Anthony Pym, Calaceite: Caminade, 1990, 37-48. Article published on the website of Anthony Pym. No page numbers available.


If myth, according to Lévi-Strauss, is "the discursive mode in which the value of the saying traduttore, traditore is practically zero", it might be assumed that nothing could be easier than translating myths. And yet it is not clear whether the argument immediately concerns actual work against difficulty or simply the fact that, in the case of myth, there is no unique author who might be betrayed. The ultimate sources are unavailable; every version is already a transformation of a transformation; and thus no translator can be wrong or unfaithful. More important, the thesis of maximum translatability says nothing about how myths should be translated, nor why contemporary societies should attach any value to such translations. These latter questions require a rather more critical approach, and perhaps far less self-assuredness about the relation between what can be said in theory and what is desirable in practice.
Source : Abstract in journal