Helmut Lethen
Kunstuniversität Linz, Austria
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In the Raging Torrent of Translation: The Gracián Kick in the 20th Century
Dedalus 21 (2017), pp. 19-41. Download PDF

During the period dating from the middle of the 17th century up until the 21st century, the stream of translation changed the “truth” of Baltasar Graciáns Pocket Oracle (1647). Each translation constituted the original anew. Were the translations like a “Machiavelli of practical life” or a guide for courtly interaction? Without the “misreadings” of the text certain aspects would not even be perceptible.
The question is whether we can even talk about the reception of an original if each new reading is more likely to obey to the dynamic of continuance in the reception chain, while the original text remains encapsulated in baroque styles and forms, becoming increasingly opaque.