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“[…] For the sake of pure language, a free translation bases the test on its own language. It is the task of the translator to release in his own language that pure language which is under the spell of another, to liberate the language imprisoned in a work in his re-creation of that work. For the sake of pure language he breaks through decayed barriers of his own language.” [Walter Benjamin, The task of the Translator]
“Woe to the makers of literal translations, who by rendering every word weaken the meaning! It is indeed by so doing that we can say the letter kills and the spirit gives life.” [Voltaire, 1694-1778]
“The longer I live — the longer I write — the stronger becomes my conviction that translation is the paradigm, the exemplar of all writing. To put it another way: it is translation that demonstrates most vividly the yearning for transformation that underlies every act involving speech, that supremely human gift” (Harry Mathews, novelist, The Human County, 2002).
“Translation is not a matter of words only: it is a matter of making intelligible a whole culture” (Burgess, 1984).
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