Scholarly article on topic 'The Fundamentals of Constructing a Hermeneutical Model for Poetry Translation'

The Fundamentals of Constructing a Hermeneutical Model for Poetry Translation Academic research paper on "Languages and literature"

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{Hermeneutics / "Literary transaltion" / Poetry / Undestandin / Domestication / Foreignization}

Abstract of research paper on Languages and literature, author of scientific article — Mohammad Ali Kharmandar, Amin Karimnia

Abstract Poetry translation involves certain complexities that cannot be easily tackled through the methods developed by linguistics. Such problems as authorial intention, the aesthetical and rhetorical value of translated works, bicultural ideological conflicts, the affective role of literary criticism, and the metaphysical nature of the final textual product require a more systematic and valid approach. To evaluate the difficulties and propose certain possible solutions, first the general points of convergence between hermeneutics and translation are discussed. Then, it is argued that the existing translation theories are not flexible enough to process poetry. This study sheds a new light on the process of poetry translation through proposing a model sensitive to hermeneutical conceptions. Specifically, the discussions show that there is a strong inevitable relationship between hermeneutics and poetry translation. Generally, the study proposes certain implications for developing a postmodern approach to literary translation.

Academic research paper on topic "The Fundamentals of Constructing a Hermeneutical Model for Poetry Translation"

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Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 70 (2013) 580 - 591

Akdeniz Language Studies Conference 2012

The fundamentals of constructing a hermeneutical model for

poetry translation

Mohammad Ali Kharmandara, Amin Karimniab*

a Department of Translation Studies, Science and Researches Branch, Islamic Azad University, Fars ,Iran bDepartment of English Lnguage, Fasa Branch, Islamic Azad University, Fasa, Iran.


Poetry translation involves certain complexities that cannot be easily tackled through the methods developed by linguistics. Such problems as authorial intention, the aesthetical and rhetorical value of translated works, bicultural ideological conflicts, the affective role of literary criticism, and the metaphysical nature of the final textual product require a more systematic and valid approach. To evaluate the difficulties and propose certain possible solutions, first the general points of convergence between hermeneutics and translation are discussed. Then, it is argued that the existing translation theories are not flexible enough to process poetry. This study sheds a new light on the process of poetry translation through proposing a model sensitive to hermeneutical conceptions. Specifically, the discussions show that there is a strong inevitable relationship between hermeneutics and poetry translation. Generally, the study proposes certain implications for developing a postmodern approach to literary translation.

© 2012 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. Selection and peer-review under responsibility of ALSC 2012

Keywords: Hermeneutics; literary transaltion; poetry; undestandin; domestication; foreignization

1. Introduction

The theory of translation, particularly from the second half of the twentieth century, has been following a rising trend toward academic, generalizable, and objective criteria (Bell, 1991; House, 2001; Melis & Albir, 2001). In the process of objectifying this historically subjective "skill" or "art", utilizing the findings, theories, and models emerged from other disciplines became a necessity in the field. Along

Amin Karimnia. Tel.: +98917 707 9914 E-mail address:

1877-0428 © 2012 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. Selection and peer-review under responsibility of ALSC 2012 doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2013.01.096

the same lines, the remarkable developments in linguistics contributed a great wealth of techniques and information to translation studies and in the long run linguistics turned into a fundamental trend in translation theory and practice.

This growing linguistics-based ideology, however, suffers from some shortcomings that hinder a sufficient explanation of a considerable number of phenomena occurring in language. Such problems as authorial intention, the influence of aesthetics on literary translation, and the ontological understanding of culture and literary texts are among the issues that call for the intervention of other disciplines in translation studies.

In this study, it is proposed that such macrostructural variables as history, culture, identity, understanding, and metaphysics can be dealt with in the discipline of translation by an adapted application of hermeneutics. As a historically and contemporarily influential discipline in text-analysis and related subjects, hermeneutics can prove to be effective in promoting a new understanding of the still ambiguous dimensions of literary and bicultural translation, and constructive in devising a approach sensitive to the problems that demand a more coherent answer.

Because hermeneutics deals with different aspects of human understanding and its mechanism (Ahmadi, 1992, 2001; Palmer, 1969, 2007; Weinsheimer, 1991/2002), it can yield an insight into how textual interpretation is accomplished, and what are the forces behind the decisions translators make when dealing with a literary text. In the present study, of course, poetry is investigated, because it has been argued to be a close representative of various aspects of human thought and linguistic expression (Heidegger, 1944/2007). As a result, one can argue that a literature-oriented model of hermeneutics should first come up with an answer to the complexities of poetic language, particularly in cross-cultural studies.

In this study, attempt has been made to relate the findings of the scholars in the discipline to discover the elements and variables that can contribute to developing the theoretical dimensions of a hermeneutics-centered model of poetry translation. Considering the subjective, idiosyncratic, and deeply culture-oriented nature of poetry, the basic question is how to explain the phenomenon in translation: is poetry analyzable according to a scientific procedure or an aesthetic method? So, the discussions in the study can primarily provide researchers and teachers with an insight into the way hermeneutics can be used in translation, and more specifically it can serve as a basic understanding for constructing a hermeneutical model of translation.

2. General Considerations

2.1. General points of convergence

The philosophical concerns in translation studies can cover a wide range of questions concerning ethics, metaphysics, phenomenology, deconstructionism, aesthetics, ideology, and so on. The focus of such studies, of course, is often on the problematic issues that necessitate a philosophically motivated response. Therefore, such studies are usually concentrated on religious or literary translation. Hermeneutical theories of translation too belong to the philosophical branch of translation studies (Munday, 2008, chap. 10). So, as a primary step, the propositions connecting hermeneutics to translations should be reviewed.

Broadly speaking, certain reasons indicate that the affinity existing between hermeneutics and translation is by no means accidental; as Palmer (1969, pp. 2-27) states hermeneutics etymologically conveys "three basic directions of meanings": "to express", "to assert", "to say"; "to explain"; and "to translate". The three senses suggest in general the twofold process of understanding and expressing a message that should be communicated. From this basic hermeneutical perspective, a translator's actual

task involves transferring the source language (SL) universe of meaning to the target language (TL) through an intermediate interpretive phase. This remarkable similarity between hermeneutics and translation conveys only the formal procedural steps in the two activities. In other words, there are still other important aspects of their similarity indicating that the two activities are basically of the same nature.

The twentieth century witnessed revolutionary theories on the influence of language on human understanding. From a very general point of view, the theories incorporated certain criticisms on the Cartesian philosophical objectivism, the ontological understanding of identity, the relationship between thinking and literature (Heidegger, 1944/2007, 1969/2004), the functioning of the unconscious and new channels for a psychoanalytic interpretation of meaning (Ricoeur, 1965/1970), and so on.

Heidegger, as a major figure in proposing modern hermeneutical notions, extended what he had inherited from Schleiermacher and Dilthey, and suggested that the process of understating involves "self-understotog" too (Palmer, 2007, p. 90). These significant implications about the nature of human language, understanding, and identity draw on hermeneutics as one of the fundamental methods of discovering and interpreting meaning. Also, these theories put forward a hermeneutical notion of "understanding" closely related to language.

For instance, out of the thirty theses pertaining to "hermeneutical experience" stated by Palmer (1969), among the others, there are two descriptions immediately relating the phenomenon to language:

• Hermeneutical experience described as being "intrinsically linguistic" (ibid., p.242):

It is not possible to understand the full importance of this until language is conceived within the horizon of "linguisticality," that is, not as the tool of a manipulating consciousness but as the medium through which a world comes to stand before us and in us.

• Hermeneutical experience described as being a "language event" (ibid., p.243):

Literature is robbed of its true dynamism and power to speak when it is conceived of in the static categories of conceptual knowing. As experience of an event and not as mere conceptual knowing, the encounter with the being of a work is not static and ideational, outside of all time and temporality; it is truth that happens, emerges from concealment, and yet eludes every effort to reduce it to concepts and objectivity.

Clearly, "hermeneutical experience" as an inherently linguistic phenomenon will have indispensable relationships with translation and literature which are per se linguistic phenomena too. What is particularly interesting is Palmer's note about literature in the second thesis, and how it should be dealt with, from a hermeneutical perspective.

Apart from the historical interconnection of hermeneutics and translation, one can observe that even modern propositions still entail the affinity of the two disciplines. It should also be taken into account that contemporary thinker like Heidegger, Gadamer, and Ricoeur continued the hermeneutical tradition of dealing with translation, developing certain related ideologies. As mentioned above, analogous with the hermeneutical process, translation too involves a primary act of understanding. But if understating necessitates self-understanding, a translation cannot occur without consequences. Trying to perceive a foreign culture, ideology, or even myths can influence the way the target text (TT) audience views the world.

Now, if language, because of its indispensable epistemological effect, is a major factor in shaping human understanding, how can the language of a certain people influence the understanding or identity of foreigners through translation? Because translation is the major means of cross-cultural communication, naturally it may function as a source of ideological tension across languages (Berman, 1985/2000; Venuti, 1995, 1998). For instance, from an epistemological point of view, translation can be used as a tool for realizing the post-colonial plan in "homogenizing universal history" (Niranjana, 1992, p. 164) or for

making a people "lose beliefs in their own identity under the voracious impact of premature or indigestible assimilation" (Steiner, 2000, p. 195).

An attempt to suppress or control "others" through translation is the corollary of a nation's "interpretation" of who they are and in what ways they are superior to "others". One could argue that at the heart of this primitive human proclivity there lies Nietzsche's metaphysical notion of will to power and the theory of knowledge (Heidegger, 1940/2007). Translation, as a textual scheme of power, may bring about serious social consequences that can gradually change the identity and worldview of those exposed to it and against which cannot defend their "eroded epistemologies" (Steiner, 2000, p. 195). As a result, translation can otherwise be defined as "a potentially hazardous cross-linguistic interpretive act."

2.2. Poetry and thinking: Hermeneutical explorations

The present study is concentrated on casting a new light on various aspects of poetry translation using a hermeneutical approach. As mentioned above, hermeneutics belongs to the philosophical branch of translation studies. As a consequence, when it comes to a hermeneutical analysis, we inevitably enter the realm of philosophy too. That is to say, we will have to deal with such issues as epistemology, ontology, aesthetics, ethics, and other related topics with a philosophical substance. Yet, the main purpose here is to investigate poetry translation. As a requirement, then we need to explore how philosophy (represented by thinking), and literature (represented by poetry) relate to each other.

Fóti (2006, pp. 91-92), analyzing Heidegger's critique on Greek tragedy, clarifies the problem by highlighting the relationship between the trinity of being, thinking, and poetry:

In the context of questioning the interrelation of being and thinking with a view to the essential character of logos, Heidegger moves from a discussion of the 'poetic thinking' (das dichterische Denken, that is, a thinking that is genuinely philosophical rather than technically scientific) of Parmenides and Heraclitus to the thoughtful poetic articulation (das denkerische Dichten) of Greek tragedy.

In another case, Heidegger (1944/2007) emphasizes the relationship between poetry and thinking by juxtaposing Nietzsche and Hölderlin. He argues that poets and philosophers are similar in that they fathom the sense they seek, put it into words (Sagen), and bring into life an understanding (Besinnung) of all that is there (ibid., p. 19). What Heidegger argues can be evidently seen in the following quotation of Hölderlin (as cited in Casten, 1993, p. 1):

"'Poetry,' [sic] I answered, confident of my argument, 'is the beginning and the end of philosophical knowledge. Like Minerva from the head of Jupiter, philosophy springs from the poetry of an eternal, divine state of being. And so philosophy, too, the irreconcilable finally converges again in the mysterious spring of poetry.'"

2.3. Translation: Art or science conflict

Although section 2.1 was generally concerned with the wide spectrum of possible hermeneutical inquiries in translation studies, this section is more focused on related implications proposed by translation theorists, as far as literary translation is concerned.

Poetry translation belongs to the broader branch of literary translation. It is, therefore, useful here to clarify the difference between literary and non-literary translation. Foucault (as cited in Berman, 1985/2000, p. 285), making a distinction between two types of translation, states that "there are translations that hurl one language against another [...] taking the original text for a projectile and treating the translating language like a target.". This understanding of translation can affect certain linguistic

conventions of translation like the assumption that TT should convey a pragmatic function similar to that of ST.

The distinction between literary and non-literary translation also illustrates the conflict between linguistics and literature. Language is a multidimensional phenomenon. Historically, translation too as a linguistic phenomenon yielded itself to linguistic investigation, whereas the theory and practice of translation were dominated for centuries by the standards of literature (Bell, 1991; Melis & Albir 2001).

As Bell (1991, p. 4) states, "The linguist inevitably approaches translation from a 'scientific' point of view, seeking to create some kind of objective description of the phenomenon.... "Acknowledging the historical dominance of literature over translation theory, Bell (1991) further argues that in the present day there are topics other than literature to be translated and that the translation of these topics requires appropriately congruent theories. Of course, Bell (1991) at the same time implies that this "scientific" approach to translation may not be capable of processing or explaining the complicated consequences arising from literary translation.

In another case, Newmark (2009) reviews Vinay and Darbelnet's contribution to translation theory and model. According to Newmark (ibid., p.31), their "scientific" approach to translation is only limited to "non-literary translation .... and only ends up as an approximation." Viewing Newmark's argument from a different angle, one may pose a simple question regarding the nature of literature and science: if literature is not (empirical) science, then how can a (hypothetically existent) science of translation process literature? Clearly, we need to explore other possibilities with a nature more harmonious with literary discourse.

Since poetry is an artistic production of language, aesthetics, the branch of philosophy dealing with beauty, seems to be a more congruent manner of explaining certain phenomenon in poetry translation. Of course, although aesthetics is flexible enough to account for beauty in literature, at the same time it may involve certain complexities. According to Kant, aesthetic rules do not follow deductive or inductive reasoning (Weinsheimer, 1991/2002, chap, 3). In other words, not definitive principle can be established to define what beauty is.

Newmark (1988, p. 166) points out that proposing a theory of poetry translation may not be possible, unless the theorist "wants to incorporate his theory of translation into his own theory of poetry." Clearly, translating poetry demands more than what we nomally find in the "science-oriented" translation theories which have so far failed to account for or at least describe the functioning of the process in a systematic way. In the following section, a number of basic considerations about poetry translation are proposed.

3. Fundamentals of a Hermeneutics-Based Method of Poetry Translation

In this section, we will try to recognize the most fundamental elements in a model for analyzing poetry translation. Naturally after the translator has decided on what the meaning is, he has to uncover the parts that can pose difficulty on the transfer of information. Trying to explain the problem systematically, we propose here that the complexities that a poem exhibits can have two dimensions, namely Cultural-Linguistic Complexity Rate (CLCR), and Hermeneutic Complexity Rate (HCR). These two phenomena are described as follows:

3.1. Cultural-linguistic complexity rate (CLCR)

This variable refers to the cultural and linguistic elements that can pose certain degrees of complexity of the translation process. It is itself further divided into three subdivisions.

3.1.1. Culture-specific elements (CSE).

Texts are not produced in a vacuum. They carry many aspects of the cultural context in which they come into existence. A hermeneutics-cantered model of translation should contain a definition of culture and the way it tackles culture-based complexities. To explain this, the model, in its theoretical foundation, should primarily provide a notion that Sampaio (1999) refers to as a "hermeneutical conception of culture" and its implications. In other words, the model should simply answer this question: What is culture from a hermeneutical perspective?

Coming up with an answer to the above question will clarify how a text should be treated within the SL culture. Yet, such an answer would only serve as a source for the translator to gain an understanding of the text in question within the present system of interpretation of the SL. There is still the question of how the translator should produce the TT, as far as the TL culture is concerned. In simple words, there is still another hermeneutical stage that the translator has to go through in transferring the cultural content. To explain these two culture-related stages in translation, we make use of the notion of "fusion of horizons".

One of the significant achievements in modern hermeneutics is Gadamer's notion of "fusion of horizons" (Ahmadi, 1992, 2001; Palmer, 1999; Sampaio, 1999; Weinsheimer, 1991/2002). Gadamer's concept of understanding involves a deviation from the surge of Positivism-dominated objectivity that was common in the 19th century (Ahmadi, 2001), and at the same time, it avoids relativism by emphasizing the "relation between horizons" (Sampaio, 1999). A horizon can be thought of as the context, being, and understanding of an individual or a nation in a particular point in time. So our understanding is dependent on the context in which we are, and understanding takes place when horizons merge (Sampaio, 1999).

This ontological perspective, which can be considered as a basis for a hermeneutical definition of culture, essentially carries the ideas that were introduced by Heidegger. The crucial point is that culture is understood through a dynamic generative process of proposing possibilities:

From an [sic] Heideggerian perspective, culture must not be considered as an activity directed towards the discovery of pre-existing structures and objective meanings, but as a creative process directed towards the exploration of the possibilities opened up by past works or, adopting a formulation closer to the second Heidegger, the exploration of the deep dimension (i. e., Being) where all human thought finds its roots (Sampaio, 1999).

Now, back to the problem of translating culture: it was mentioned above that the translator's strategy for tackling cultural complexities involves two steps: firstly, the content of what is called culture should be determined and interpreted in the SL, and secondly, it should be transferred to the TL. In both cases, the notion of "fusion of horizons" can be used to show how a people's understanding of its past takes place, and how this understanding is transfigured into another horizon as the second language culture.

3.1.2. Rhetoric and Figures of Speech (RFS).

This factor refers to the SL figures of speech that play an active role in the interpretation of the text. As mentioned above, the translator, having extracted the meaning in the first two steps of the hermeneutic motion, discovers that the relation between form and content in the ST is more significant than what he had expected (Steiner, 2000). The direct consequence of as such an understanding brings on questions concerning the Saussurian assumption that the relationship between form and meaning is totally arbitrary. What we normally find in the reality of a literary text, however, is an indication of the profound interrelation between form and meaning (Steiner, 2000). Various figures of speech and rhetorical devices may establish grounds for the genesis of meaning in textual interpretation. Therefore, rhetoric and figures

in a literary work should be first investigated to ascertain what potentialities they exhibit in a hermeneutical analysis.

3.1.3. Poet-specific terms (PST).

This last factor is relevant to the concepts that are specific to the writer, and may not be necessarily culture-based. It is proposed here that this level of complexity carried the most difficult problems for the translator to tackle, mostly because the poet-specific words are semantically idiosyncratic, and can be even difficult for the average SL speakers to make sense of. The canonized works of such poets are usually glossed. It should be noted that in the process of translation this element of CLCR takes it being from the interconnected relations between writers on the axis of time, and it is not a prefabricated static source of reference for the translator.

From an intertextual point of view, an inquiry into the history of interpretation may reveal that a poet's work is interpreted by different ideological systems within the greater language system. For instance, Shamisa (2009, pp. 27-29) enumerates three different mainstream interpretive movements about the sonnets of Hafiz: mystical, Khayyamian, and political. Considering the postulates of intertextuality, one can assume that an interpretive system is an amalgamation of the views of other writers coupled with the contributions of the system itself. Along with the same lines, Iser (as cited in Ahmadi, 1992, p. 685) in his notion of textual interpretation takes into account the social conditions effective in the production of a literary work as well as the intertextual relationships between writers in different periods of time.

In reproducing a poem, the translator may synthesize the inspirations of different interpretive systems, creating a new textual phenomenon both in the SL and TL. The TT then is produced not only through a syntactic or semantic analysis, but other factors may play a role too; for instance, literary criticism as a criterion for aesthetical value, or the ideological significance of the ST in the SL according to different interpretations. As a result, a translator's decisions are not subjective, but in a nutshell, they are bound by the postulates of the historical period in which the translator finds himself or herself.

3.2. Hermeneutical Complexity Rate (HCR)

One of the most controversial issues of all text-analysis is the problem of authorial intention, meaning what the original author intended by producing the text. Any system dealing with text-analysis should come up with an answer to this problem. Post-modern approaches to text interpretation principally rely on the text itself as the main source of meaning production. Although there are different approaches toward authorial intention, one can argue that generally hermeneutics too relies on the text rather than the author (Ahmadi, 1992; Vines & Allen, 1987).

Although this complexity applies to any act of text interpretation (including all of the above-mentioned elements of CLCR), it can reach an immeasurable degree of subjectivity at this stage of interpretation. Contrary to the components of CLCR which are somewhat dependant on the form, hermeneutical complexity rate (HCR) refers to the cases where a formally unrelated hermeneutic content is assigned to a line (or other parts) of a poem. In other words, this is the way the line, concept, myth, or image is interpreted within the hermeneutic system the translator follows in his renderings.

So the translator's decisions concerning the meaning and significance of poetry may be based on the idiosyncratic interpretations made by SL literature scholars and critics. One way of dealing with the problem is to rely on the most frequent interpretations of the work in the SL. Inspired by the propositions of Even Zohar's Polysystem theory, it is suggested here that the various interpretations of a canonized work also construct a system of hermeneutics that sets the distinction between conventionalized and

marginalized interpretations. Therefore, depending on the translator's orientation, he may select or reject the existing interpretations, or may try to "test" other possibilities.

4. Source-Text Oriented and Target-Text Oriented Translation

Another overriding problem in translation studies is the contrast between source-language oriented and target-language oriented translation. This distinction is hermeneutically significant because it is the only criterion indicating what the consequences of a literary translated work are: in what ways can the translation influence the worldview of the TL audience, to what extent the TT language tried to resist the translation, and how can we define the final translation as a new textual phenomenon.

Different scholars have made an attempt to come up with more tangible concepts to describe the dichotomy. Newmark (2009, pp. 28-30) reviews, compares and contrasts the major concepts developed by different scholars including his (Newmark's) semantic and communicative translation, Nida's formal correspondence and functional equivalence, House's overt and covert translation, and Nord's documentary and instrumental translation.

Because this dichotomy is among the most fundamental concepts in translation studies, we should speculate on how it is explained based on a hermeneutical approach to translation. Technically, it is preferable to find a hermeneutically pertinent dichotomy already proposed in translation studies. As a result, in the present study, we rely on translation propositions closely related to those of hermeneutics.

Venuti's (1995) notions of domestication and foreignization show a strong historical and theoretical congruence with hermeneutics. The notions can serve as a basis for the researchers to conceptualize hermeneutics within translation theory. Domestication and foreignization were inspired by the 19th century German philosopher and theorist, Friedrich Schleiermacher.

Schleiermacher's influence on translation studies (Munday, 2008; Venuti, 1995) is highly important in a study with hermeneutical considerations. Schleiermacher's "alienating" and "naturalizing" methods (as cited in Munday, 2008, p. 29) are essential for hermeneutics-based studies because of two main reasons: on the one hand, Schleiermacher is considered to be the father of modem hermeneutics and a very influential scholar in religious and literary studies (Ahmadi, 2001; Palmer, 2007; Vines & Allen, 1987). This indicates that this dichotomy in translation orientation historically emerged from philosophical grounds, and more importantly it was proposed by a scholar in hermeneutics.

On the other hand, Venuti (1995), as a translation theorist, draws on Schleiermacher's philosophy in developing the concepts of "foreignization" and "domestication" in his conceptualization of translation method. Of course, Venuti's (1995, chap. 3) elaboration on the two notions is significant mostly because of his criticisms of Schleiermacher's philosophy described as carrying an ideological motive underlying his notions of translation and culture. Distancing himself from Schleiermacher's explanation of foreignization, Venuti (1995) claims that what Schleiermacher tried to achieve was a nationalistic agenda aimed at alleviating the poverty of the German language and literature, and creating an elite social class by reinforcing the language through translation (ibid. pp. 99-106).

Apart from Venuti's notion of domestication, Steiner (2000) too draws on a similar notion to predict the final status of the TT in the SL culture: he proposes two conditions that the translated text will have in the TL; in a sense, these conditions can be thought of as consequences of the extent of foreignization and domestication employed in the translation. Steiner uses (as cited in Munday, 2008, p.164) what he calls "complete domestication" and "permanent strangeness and marginality" to describe how the SL system will react to the translated literature.

As a result of this discussion, we propose that domestication and foreignization are the most hermeneutics-related notions in translation studies, as far as the old-age problem of source-oriented and target-oriented translation is concerned. A summary of the reasons is as follows: (a) domestication and

foreignization incorporate essentially hermeneutical conceptions important in cross-cultural encounters;

(b) they can cover such macro-structural issues as ideology, literary canon, ethics, and post-colonization;

(c) translation theorists have already investigated these notions, creating a considerable corpus.

In the present study, it is proposed that domestication or foreignization rate of a translated work can be extracted from the variables of Cultural Linguistic Complexity Rate. To be more specific, as the researcher or the translator endeavors to identify Culture-Based and Poet-Based items, he can later in his analysis, use the same factors for determining the cultural tendency of the TT. So the variables of this factor are as follows:

• Cultural domestication (CD): This includes the domesticated culture-based elements found in the ST as a result of the primary analysis.

• Cultural foreignization (CF): If the translation shows a close rendering, borrowing, defining a Culture-Based item, that part is considered to be a foreignized element.

Figure 1 depicts the final structure of the elements in the model.

Fig 1. This a schematic representation of the relationship between the items in the model 5. Metaphysics of Translation: An Idea for Further Research

All translation involves an activation of TL and SL items. Of course, as far as the TL is concerned, a translation as a whole is an intertextual phenomenon hosting and introducing new and possibly challenging information to the target culture. A translated literary work, therefore, is a synthesized whole composed of domesticated and foreignized items. In other words, a literary translation is a new phenomenological consequence emerging from the "fusion of horizons" of the two languages involved in the transformation.

So, if we accept that the horizons of the two languages converge, what will be the final product of this confluence? It is proposed here that the dichotomy (see section 4 above) distinguishing source-text oriented and target-text oriented translation, along with all of the transfigurations imposed on the original text and the flow of information it enters the TL, will generate a new linguistic phenomenon producing unexpected meanings and understandings. In other words, the convergence of the two languages will

create a "semi-language" composed of the elements of the both languages, while providing grounds for a new independent understanding of the world.

This situation ironically brings us back to the question that should normally be answered in the beginning of a discussion on literary translation: what is literary translation? This inquiry into the essence of a thing is usually the task of metaphysics, another branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of being, time, space, and existence. Answering this question, of course, is beyond the scope of the present study, yet we set forth the question what are the elements of a metaphysical study on translation.

6. Conclusion

This study was an attempt to investigate the applicability of hermeneutics in poetry translation. To do so, first the historical and contemporary points of convergence between the two disciplines were reviewed. It was noted that hermeneutics is among the mainstream topics in the revolutionary developments in text interpretation in the twentieth century. It was also noted from a philosophical perspective that there is a considerable congruence between thinking and poetry, which emphasizes the importance of poetry translation. Because poetry is an artistic linguistic production and does not correspond to the scientific propositions, the theory of translation should develop flexible approaches towards poetry translation. In the present study, it is proposed that certain elements can be recognized and accordingly put into a systematic frame to analyze poetry translation. Fundamentally, two categories are suggested here: cultural-linguistic complexity rate, and hermeneutical complexity rate. The first element is itself divided into three subcategories: culture-specific elements, rhetoric and figures of speech, and poet-specific terms. Considering intertexual relations existing between texts, we learn that a translated work is an amalgamation of both source text and target text items. To understand how much the translation is influenced by the language, culture, and ideology of the source text, we can use domestication and foreignization rate. Still, the convergence of the two languages may have certain metaphysical implications, because one can argue that a literary translation is in reality a new independent textual phenomenon, or "semi-language" composed of the two languages involved. The study in general proposes certain theoretical discussions that can demystify the vague aspects of applying hermeneutics to literary translation.


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