Saved by translation

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In our age, translation has become a regulative and cosmopolitan modality of our experience of shifting borders and populations on the move. At the same time, however, the power issues involved in the politics of translation give rise to concerns about the economy of equitable exchange between dominant and minor languages and the vulnerability of the lesser language to misappropriation, domestication, and depletion in translation into a high status language. On the other hand, in the condition of exile, the translation of a canonical language into the lesser-known language of the country of exile can safeguard a banished intellectual culture. The sojourn of Nazi Germany’s academic exiles in Turkey (1933–45) bears witness not only to the survival and dissemination of a banished academic legacy in (Turkish) translation but also to an avant la lettre practice of interdisciplinary cultural studies.


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