Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Parshley Translation

I originally had this as a section of a post below, but on further thought I've decided to give it its own post.

UPDATE: Thanks to Sharon for turning me on to a post on "Alas, a blog" about the English translation of The Second Sex. It's possible to exaggerate the problems with Parshley's translation, but there does need to be a new translation. Not only does Parshley need to be corrected in places, particularly where philosophical terminology is used, but Parshley's translation is actually a translation and abridgement. Beauvoir's complete text has never been translated into English. Unfortunately (which I wasn't aware of) the reason there has been no improved translation is a misuse of copyright protection. There is, however, an online petition to the publisher to change this state of affairs. (At my signing there were 426 signatures total.) In the meantime, I'm working on a post that's an example of just how clearly a new translation is needed: I want to say something about Beauvoir's adaptation of Hegelian theory, which is very cool, but Parshley doesn't translate the Hegelianism very well, and so there's some difficulty, since even for a short post I have to compensate somewhat for the failings of the translation.

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