The Circumscribed Infinites Scheme (CIS): A deconstructive approach to translating poetry

Adolfo Martín García
Mar del Plata CAECE University, Argentina/Mar del Plata National University (UNMDP), Argentina

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is twofold: on the one hand, it seeks to introduce and explain the CIS (Circumscribed Infinites Scheme), a deconstructive scheme for translating poetry; and, on the other, it aims at analyzing the scheme’s impact on the translation into English of a variety of poems by Jorge Luis Borges. Devised by the present author, who is also responsible for the translations analyzed, the CIS is a translational scheme whereby meaning is understood as an inexhaustible textual effect, and which, in its theoretical elucidation, seeks to raise the practicing translator’s awareness of the control he or she might have over the degree of infinite exegetic circumscription—and subsequent infinite exegetic recreation—during the translation process.

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Table of contents

Let us overlook contingent metaphysical paradoxes and assume, at least for a finite moment, that infinites are cumulative, reckonable sets—keeping in mind that literary translation is a field that may engender infinite products. From a deconstructive standpoint, the number of ways in which a text can be rendered into a target language is incalculable. In fact, Deconstruction provides support for one of the truisms that have grown more deeply entrenched in the collective mind of translators worldwide, which claims that “there are (at least) as many versions of a translated text as translators translating it”.

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