George Steiner's The Biblical Story Of The Tower Of Babel

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When the imperialism of the 19th and 20th centuries revisits us now in the form of globalization, the inherent class conflict is more intense and complex than it had ever been in the past. To ensure its dominance over science, technology, economy, media, etc. for ever, Anglo-American English, the lingua franca of globalization, seeks control over all aspects of language and translation. George Steiner who tried to compose ‘a poetics of translation’ has specially discussed how the authoritarian ascendancy of English over other languages is pushing the languages of Africa and Amazonia into premature death and extinction9. Steiner is afraid that, when under the spell of market economy English brushes aside other languages, it will lose its own ability to address reality creatively.…show more content…
To frustrate the aims of the humans, who had tried to reach heaven by building a tower at Babel, God had cast disunity among them through different languages15. The God of the myth is a metaphor for political authority, a power center that disseminates disunity through diversity of languages. Therefore, translation is a revolt, a linguistic refutation of divine authority that disunites the humans. Each translation is a political action, an epistemic attempt to exalt ourselves from the disunity of ignorance to the unity of knowledge. Translation is not the mechanical process of detecting semantic equivalents for the linguistic codes of the source language in another language. Breaking up the opacity of linguistic signs, translation aims at the creation of a cultural awareness which is political in depth and dimension. Beyond the identification of the mutuality of languages and the transfer of ideas therein, the realistic recognition of the human situation and the struggle for the communistic alternative of human equality and unity are also part of the new translation

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