Manage episode 363530567 series 3432788
If one could perfectly translate a literary work, would that translation make the original idea of the author universally understood by all readers? Or do the greatest translations bring new layers of creativity and meaning to a work, making its latent textures relevant for another culture or time—such as feminist translations of the Odyssey and Christian translations of Plato—even as they may dampen the original intentions of the author?
In this episode, Annapolis tutor Stella Zhu, who is also a translator of Chinese poetry, joins host Louis Petrich to discuss the complexities of translation, including the role of interpretation and emotion, as humans attempt to understand and communicate ideas across linguistic boundaries through literary translation and dialogue with each other.
Their conversation, which itself exemplifies the mystery of communication, continues by exploring the idea that perhaps math and music provide universal languages that literary works never approach; that translating oneself to others may hold the same challenges as translating literary works into new languages; and that multiplicities of understanding may be an inescapable, and perhaps beneficial condition of human life.