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  • P.J.Chamizo Domínguez, I.E.Klyukanov. M.Bakhtin and J.Ortega y Gasset: Nostradad and Beyond, продолжение (часть 2)
    …, separating meanings that “belong” to this or that language and culture. In real life, “words do not really belong to anyone, sine they aren’t ‘property’ that can be allotted or stolen or trespassed upon, but float freely in the dialogical public domain <…> there can be no pure or perfect or ideal correspondences between them <…> Artificial boundaries can be set up and jealously maintained, but dialogized words flow back and forth across any such boundaries and render them thus politically and historically contingent” (Robinson 1991: 105).

    It becomes clear then that, instead of fearing boundaries and viewing them as something to be overcome or destroyed, we should embrace them and treat them as the very essence of polyglossia and the process of translation, as such. When, through translation, meanings are liberated and salvaged the view of the world becomes more multi-dimensional, and people can freely choose between language signs. Such a phenomenon, for example, is found in the so-called “code switching” often used by bilingual and polylingual (sic!) language users. M. Epstein calls such a multidimensional, multilingual, “culturally curved” discourse “interlation”. He writes: “Bilingual or multilingual persons have no need of a translation, but they can enjoy an interlation, a contrastive juxtaposition of two or more apparently identical texts running simultaneously in two different languages – for example, a poem of Joseph Brodsky in the Russian original and in English autotranslation. Interlation is a multilingual variation on the same theme, where the roles of “source” and “target” languages are not established or are interchangeable. One language allows the reader to perceive what another language misses or conceals” (http://glossary.isud.org/2007/11/interlation.html).

    In an earlier work (Chamizo Domínguez & Klyukanov 2001), we described one such case of “interlation” as it applies (mostly) to the translation of technical terms in linguistic and philosophic texts whereby the “source” term is given in parenthesis right after its “target” translation. We called this device TSD – “Translation Safeguarding Device”, alluding to the translator’s attempt to safeguard against any loss of meaning. We stated that “TSD <…> makes the sign two-dimensional, as it were, and the reader comes to appreciate all the complex dynamics of translation, i. e. the original text in its relation to the translation” (Chamizo-Domínguez & Klyukanov, 2001: 56). In light of the ideas discussed in the present article, we feel TSD can be best described as “Translation SALVATION Device” for its ultimate goal is to liberate meaning and save it for future uses, thus showing full potential of languages in each context of usage.

    In conclusion, it is possible to argue that the views of M. Bakhtin and J. Ortega y Gasset on language, communication, and translation can be considered somewhat “romantic”, cf. the influence of German romanticism. However, their views are firmly planted in the ground, so to speak, i. e., grounded in the life experiences of concrete individuals in concrete contexts. At the same time, both thinkers realized that treating experience as just Erfahrung, i. e., as objective and socially regulated “form”, is not enough to understand the true nature of any symbolic act. For M. Bakhtin, “a code is a deliberately established, killed context” (1986a: 147), and for J. Ortega y Gasset, “que dos y dos son cuatro es siempre un poco triste” – “that two and two are four is always a bit sad” (Pasado y porvenir del hombre actual, IX: 19). For M. Bakhtin and J. Ortega y Gasset, communication has a both-and character, i. e., it involves signs (language signs, in the first place) and their dialogic relationships in real-life contexts. Thus, communication is always polyglossia, always translation. Through their Works as well as through their very lives M. Bakhtin and J. Ortega y Gasset showed us the value of nostradad as “the ground of potentialities that makes possible future concrete acts that produce the social in existential and concrete ways” (Ramsey 2007: 226).


    1. Abad Nebot, Francisco. 1995. “La crisis del positivismo, (Vossler, Bajtín, Ortega)”. Signa. 4, pp. 243-256.

    2. Almería, Luis Beltrán. 1993. Ortega, Bajtín y el tema de nuerto tiempo. Berceo, 125, pp. 137-145.

    3. Araya, Gonzalo. 1971. Claves filológicas para la comprensión de J. Ortega y Gasset. Madrid: Gredos.

    4. Bakhtin, Mikhail. 1981. The dialogic imagination. Four essays. (Ed.). Holquist, M. (Transl. Emerson, Caryl and Michael Holquist). Austin: University of Texas Press.

    5. Bakhtin, Mikhail. 1984. Toward a reworking of the Dostoevsky book. In (Ed. And transl.). Caryl Emerson. Theory and history of literature 8. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, pp. 283-302.

    6. Bakhtin, Mikhail. 1986a. The problem of speech genres. In (Eds.). Emerson, Caryl and Michael Holquist. (Transl.) Vern W. McGee. Speech genres and other late essays. Austin: University of Texas Press, pp. 60-102.

    7. Bakhtin, Mikhail. 1986b. Response to a question from the Novy Mir Editorial Staff. In (Eds.). Emerson, Caryl and Michael Holquist. (Transl.) Vern W. McGee. Speech genres and other late essays, pp. 1-7.

    8. Bakhtin, Mikhail. 1993. Toward a philosophy of the act. Trans. Vadim Liapunov. (Eds.), Vadim Liapunov and Michael Holquist. Austin: Univesity of Texas Press.

    9. Beltrán Almería, Luis. 1993. “Ortega, Bajtín y El tema de nuestro tiempo”. Berceo. 125, pp. 137-145.

    10. Cerezo Galán, Pedro. 1984. La voluntad de aventura. Aproximamiento crítico al pensamiento de J. Ortega y Gasset y Gasset. Barcelona: Ariel.

    11. Cesare, Donatella di. 1996. “’Innere Form der Sprache’: Humboldts Grenzbegriff, Steinthals Begriffsgrenze”. Historiographia Linguistica. 23:3, pp. 321-346.

    12. Chamizo Domínguez, Pedro J. 1987. “La traducción como problema en Wittgenstein”. Pensamiento. 43/170, pp. 179-196.

    13. Chamizo Domínguez, Pedro J. and Klyukanov, Igor. 2001). Translation safeguarding device, Tirjuman, 10 (1), pp. 43-58.

    14. Chamizo Domínguez, Pedro J. 2002. Ortega y la cultura española. Madrid: Ediciones Pedagógicas.

    15. Chamizo Domínguez, Pedro José. 2006. “El ideal de la traducción y la multiplicidad de manuales para traducir. Con motivo de un texto de Quine”, in Agís Villaverde, Marcelino, José Cajilde Val and Agustín Dosil Maceira (Eds.), A tarefa do pensar. Santiago de Compostela: Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, pp. 153-171.

    16. Chamizo Domínguez, Pedro José. 2007. “Interpretar y traducir”, in Postigo Pinazo, Encarnación (Coord.), Investigación en traducción e interpretación: Una mirada al presente. Málaga: Universidad de Málaga, pp. 47-79.

    17. Chamizo Domínguez, Pedro José and Igor E. Kluykanov. 2001. “Translation Safeguarding Device”. Turjumàn. Revue de Traduction et d’Interprétation/Journal of Translation Studies. 10 (1), pp. 43-58.

    18. Emerson, Caryl. 1984. Editor’s preface. In (Ed. and transl.). Caryl Emerson. Bakhtin, Mikhail. Problems of Dostoevsky’s poetics. Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press, pp. xxix-xlii.

    19. Emerson, Caryl. 1996. Keeping the Self intact during the culture wars : A centennial essay for Mikhail Bakhtin. New Literary History 27, pp. 107-126.

    20. Ferrater Mora, José. 1957. Ortega y Gasset: An Outline of His Philosophy. New Haven: Yale University Press.

    21. Holquist, Michael. 1990. Dialogism: Bakhtin and his world. London: Routledge.

    22. Kumar, Amith and Milind Malshe. 2005. Translation and Bakhtin’s “metalinguistics”. Perspectives: Studies in Translatology, 13, pp. 115-122.

    23. León, Fray Luis de, 1992. “A Don Pedro Portocarrero”, in Obras propias y traducciones latinas, griegas y italianas. Con la paráfrasi de algunos Psalmos, y capítulos de Iob. Salamanca: Universidad de Salamanca-Diputación de Cuenca, Vol. I, pp. 44-48.

    24. Merriam-Webster. 2008. Merriam-Webster Online. Available HTTP: http://www.merriam-webster.com/ (accessed 5 July 2008).

    25. Morson, Gary and Caryl Emerson (Eds.). 1989. Rethinking Bakhtin: Extensions and challenges. Illinois: North Western University Press.

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    27. Ortega Gasset, José. 1983. Obras completas. Madrid: Alianza-Revista de Occidente.

    28. Ortega y Gasset, José. 2003. “The Misery and the Splendor of Translation” (translated by Elisabeth Gamble Miller), in Lawrence Venuti (Ed.), The Translation Studies Reader. London/New York: Routledge, pp. 49-63.

    29. Renfrew, Alastai. 2009. Mikhail Bakhtin. New York: Routledge.

    30. Saussure, Ferdinand de. 1986. Course in General Linguistics. Translated by Roy Harris. Chicago: Open Court Press [1916].

    31. Pozuelo Yvancos, José María. 1992. “Bajtín, Ortega y la renovación del lenguaje narrativo”, in Alabadalejo, Tomás, F. J. Blanco, and R. de la Fuente (eds.), La Vanguardias. Renovación de los lenguaje poéticos (2). Madrid: Júcar, pp. 61-87.

    32. Prosenc Segula, Irena. 2004. Intento de una definicíon generíca del poema renacentista italiano a la luz de las reflexiones teóricas de Ortega y Gasset, Lukács y Bajtin.Verba hispanica: Anuario del Departamento de la Lengua y Literatura Españolas de la Facultad de Filosofía y Letras de la Universidad de Ljubljana, 12, pp. 51-58.

    33. Putnam, Hilary. 1981. Reason, Truth and History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    34. Ramsey, Eric. 2007. There is nothing outside circumstance: Near, against, with(in) Ortega y Gasset (and a ghostly hand). In (Ed.). Pat Anderson. Perpsectives on philosophy of communication. West Lafaette, IN: Purdue University Press, pp. 215-246.

    35. Robinson, D. 1991. The translator’s turn. Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press.

    36. Venuti, Lawrence. 2000. Introduction. The translation studies reader. London & New York: Routledge, pp. 1-8.

    37. Voloshinov, Valentin. 1973. Marxism and the philosophy of language. (Matejka, L. & Titunik, I. R., Trans.). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

    38. Wittgenstein, Ludwig. 1984. Philosophical Investigations. Translated by G. E. M. Anscombe. Oxford: Basil Blackwell [1954].

    2 We quote J. Ortega y Gasset’s writings according to (Ortega y Gasset 1983). We firstly provide in each quote the work we refer to, secondly (in Roman numerals) we refer to the volume, and finally (in Arabic numerals) we refer to the page or pages of each volume.

    3 Note that, in spite of the fact that this second concept of culture is the most usual one nowadays, the early concept of culture remains workable, particularly in the adjective cultured, which is synonymous with cultivated, refined, sophisticated, civilized, or educated, but not with social, folk, racial, ethnic, or religious.

    4 “Now linguistic identity is not the kind of identity the suit has, but the kind of identity the train and the street have. Every time I utter the word Messieurs! (‘Gentlemen’), I renew its material being: it is a new act of phonation and a new psychological act. The link between two uses of the same word is not based upon material identity, nor upon exact similarity of meaning, but upon factors the linguist must discover, if he is to come anywhere near to revealing the true nature of linguistic units” (Saussure 1986: 152. Original italics).

    5 “For a large class of cases – though not for all–in which employ the word ‘meaning it can be defined thus: the meaning of a word is its use in the language. And the meaning of a name is sometimes explained by pointing to its bearer” (Wittgenstein 1984: I, 43. Original emphasis).

    6 We quote the English version of The Misery and the Splendor of Translation according to the translation provided by Elisabeth Gamble Miller (J. Ortega y Gasset, 2003).

    7 Since J. Ortega y Gasset is talking with French scholars, he resorts to French words from time to time. Here flou (fuzziness, vagueness, blur, haziness) is written in French.

    8 J. Ortega y Gasset is alluding to the Humboldtian concept of “innere Form der Sprache”. Further information on the topic can be found in (Di Cesare 1996).

    9 This translation could be considered an excellent instance of the thesis that J. Ortega y Gasset is expounding, since the Spanish text makes clear that J. Ortega y Gasset’s translator is a female while the English translation disregards such information.

    Язык, коммуникация и социальная среда. Выпуск 7. Воронеж: ВГУ, 2009. С. 68-88.  

    © P.J.Chamizo Domínguez, I.E.Klyukanov, 2009

    Chamizo Domínguez, Pedro J. – Professor, Universidad de Málaga, Departamento de Filosofía, Málaga, Spain; pjchd@uma.es

    Клюканов, Игорь Энгелевич (Igor E. Klyukanov) – Professor, Department of Communication Studies, Eastern Washington University; iklyukanov@mail.ewu.edu


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