Volume 35, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0924-1884
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9986
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Because translators begin where authors end – with a completed text – their task may be conceptualized as a reverse worlding, or ascent from actual text to imaginary context. This article argues that the same is true, , for all verbal art, and that within verbal art, it is truer of the texts that Hasan (1985, 101) refers to as ‘literature text’ and less so of those she calls ‘literary text’ that have some extra-artistic purpose. We demonstrate this empirically using an extreme example, the lipogrammatic French novel (Perec 1969) and its English translation (Perec 2008). We also argue for a certain chastity in theory – a theory of translation for verbal art which excludes both the nonverbal and texts that are not purposefully artistic. Moreover, we say that there needs to be a corresponding chastity in practice – a theory of world inversion that rests not on a political program, but rather on a scientific understanding of the world and the proper place of words within it.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): A Void; Halliday; Hasan; La disparition; lipogram; verbal art
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