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The Journal of English Language and Literature , Vol.64, No.3, 469 ~ 482, 2018
Scale, Untranslatability, Cultural Translation, and World Literature
Youngmin Kim
When literatures and cultures encounter their counterparts in terms of the big data or statistics of a new reconfiguration in the cognitive map, the tangential points of the borderland will be reduced to what Mitchell calls “a mere abstraction on a map,” which nevertheless will provide a vast interstitial zone of “intersections, competition, and exclusions.” This zone will be the dynamic vortex for the aesthetics, politics, and ethics of cultural translation. The translated discourse will engage in carrying across the disturbing region of untranslatability and demonstrate how the literary texts of world literature reveal enriching but threatening human experience. This dynamic border of vortex will construct the translational space of world literature, transcending the fragmentary untranslatable nature of the hybrid convergence of the ethnic, racial, cultural and national intermixtures and constructing what Pascal Casanova terms “The World Republic of Letters.” In this paper, I will demonstrate how the very concept of scale is related to literary space as well as how distance creates a poetics of literary landscapes which looks ahead of world literature. Also, I will attempt to find the possibility to relate the “micro-scale” with the “macro-scale,” and to construct the scale politics of representation. “Glocalization” is a convenient theoretical tool for the double movement of the up-scale and down-scale.
Key Words
world literature, cultural translation, poetics of scale, transla-tional turn, distant reading
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