This essay tries to reflect the ethics and politics of translation and then invites readers to rethink the process of world literature translation here in Korea. Briefly tracing the studies of Kim Byungchul who wrote the translation history of world literature in Korea from 1895 to the early 1980s, this essay invites readers to remap the arena of literary translation as the space of cultural acculturation. In the process, this essay questions the notions of cultural translation not as a all-purpose tool but as the practice of contacting otherness and difference of cultures. What does the phenomenon of translating world literature here in Korea imply especially in the process of constructing modern Korea and its national identity? What are the roles and ethics of literary translation? How can translators get over the cultural partiality that is deeply colligated in the field of translation? With the various questions embedded in publishing collected works of world literature, this essay problematizes the politics of translation and explores the possibility of rebuilding the cultural contact zone through literature translation where foreignness is cordially invited to the making of cultural identity. While the earlier translations of world literature focused on the acceptance of Western modernity, today’s translation of world literature might be meaningful as the active site of transforming our culture and identity.


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pp. 39-67
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