Film-Philosophy Salon (2001) <FILM-PHILOSOPHY@JISCMAIL.AC.UK>
Discourse, vol. 20 no. 3 (1998), 'Gilles Deleuze, A Reason to Believe in this World', eds. Reda Bensmaia and Jalal Toufic.
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2001 21:20:34 +0000
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Subject: Brief Comment on _Discourse_
This review has several purposes. First, I wish to bring attention
to the journal Discourse vol. 20 no. 3, entitled: 'Gilles
Deleuze, A Reason to Believe in this World'. It is guest edited
by Reda Bensmaia and Jalal Toufic. It contains translations (mostly
by Tim Murphy and Melissa McMahon) of six articles by Deleuze,
of two seminars (one on Leibniz, April 15,
1980, that I translated for Richard Pinhas's Web Deleuze site), of two interviews (one of which is Deleuze's excoriating blast against the 'nouveaux philosophes'), and of one group statement by Bourdieu, Deleuze, Jerome Lindon, and Pierre Vidal-Naquet to the French government protesting the Gulf War. There are also essays by: Bruno Paradis, Raymond Bellour, Steve McCaffery, Tom Conley, Michael Hardt, Jean-Clet Martin, Jalal Toufic, David Bunn, Doug Rice, Alphonso Lingis, John Corbett, and Eric Alliez, with an introductory exchange of letters by Bensmaia and Toufic.
That's the informative, affirmative part. The other purpose
is less affirmative, but needs to be emphasized nonetheless. I
had originally thought of entitling this review 'Translators are
Scum', and here's why: having agreed to prepare my translation
for this issue of _Discourse_, I was unpleasantly surprised to
see that among the contributors' names at the
end of the issue, none of the translators' names are listed, despite the fact that nearly half of the pieces included therein were produced through the efforts of the translators. It's not that I or any of the translators need to see our names in print other than at the end of the texts we translated. I am simply fascinated and appalled by the disregard with which
editors treat those of us who spend fairly wasted time preparing texts for readers who cannot read the appropriate foreign language, in this case French. Tim Murphy surely deserves better treatment than the cursory: 'We would like to thank Fanny Deleuze and the [unnamed] translators: 'Thank you'.' And then there is the repetition of the misspelling, Melissa
McM*u*han after her two translations.
What's the point of this whinging? Simply stated: when one puts in the kind of effort that Tim, Melissa, and many others have done in translating texts long and short by Deleuze and Guattari, it seems a bit tedious, fatiguing, dare I say, insulting . . . to feel like an also-ran when it comes to the scholarly pecking order. Need I mention that many of the eager and earnest readers of Deleuze and Guattari, as well as of this issue, are perhaps only dimly aware that these two writers wrote all their works in French? And that without the labor of translators, most of these eager and earnest souls would be without access to these texts? Such commonplaces, however self-serving, apparently must be reiterated, and no review of this issue of Discourse can be complete without setting the record straight.
Charles J. Stivale
Wayne State University
Detroit, MI, USA