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The Hermes Complex

Philosophical Reflections on Translation

Charles Le Blanc

Publication Year: 2012

When Hermes handed over to Apollo his finest invention, the lyre, in exchange for promotion to the status of messenger of the gods, he relinquished the creativity that gave life to his words.
The trade-off proved frustrating: Hermes chafed under the obligation to deliver the ideas and words of others and resorted to all manner of ruses in order to assert his presence in the messages he transmitted. His theorizing descendants, too, allow their pretentions to creatorship to interfere with the actual business of reinventing originals in another language.
Just as the Hermes of old delighted in leading the traveller astray, so his descendants lead their acolytes, through thickets of jargon, into labyrinths of eloquence without substance.
Charles Le Blanc possesses the philosophical tools to dismantle this empty eloquence: he exposes the inconsistencies, internal contradictions, misreadings, and misunderstandings rife in so much of the current academic discourse en translation, and traces the failings of this discourse back to its roots in the anguish of having traded authentic creativity for mere status.

Published by: University of Ottawa Press

Series: Perspectives on Translation

Cover page

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Title page

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Copyright page

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Translator's Foreword

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pp. vii-viii


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pp. ix-xvi

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The Hermes Complex

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pp. 1-146

The abuse of language has spawned innumerable errors, and the pronouncements of celebrated philosophers are all too often the product of verbal incontinence. Systematic recourse to inflated language is invariably detrimental to the ideas to be conveyed. The speaker or writer who uses the word “sincerity” at...

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pp. 147-148

This book is typeset in Jupiter and Adobe Caslon Pro. Jupiter was designed by Patrick Griffin at Canada Type and is based on carved Roman capitals. Roman carvers were quite consistent in depicting the overall forms of the alphabet but there were wild differences...

E-ISBN-13: 9780776620282
E-ISBN-10: 0776620282
Print-ISBN-13: 9780776630458
Print-ISBN-10: 0776630458

Page Count: 170
Publication Year: 2012

Series Title: Perspectives on Translation
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OCLC Number: 822017792
MUSE Marc Record: Download for The Hermes Complex