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Re: [xmca] Fwd: Translation as Lipogram

Hi David--

Volodya Zinchenko has been writing a lot about, more or less, how Shpet
invented Vygotsky. There is a good deal about this in JREEP. Eugene likes
Bakhtin and does not particularly like Vygotsky (See also JREEP and other of
Eugene's writings including the new book which I have not seen yet).

Me, I am still back on the 1929/30 LSV article which I quoted from and re re
reading Thought and Speech (only in English -- and Russian editions
available to me when you raise warning flags).  I still have not come fully
to grips with social situation of development, neorformation, and a lot of
other key concepts.

I brought around the early LSV formulation because I thought it was
relevant. What caught me in it, eventually, was that LSV was unlike the
neo-behaviorists who thought the triangle was simply sum of its parts). What
is distinctive is the new properties that arise from the new structural

You are extremely brave and intrepid to keep tackling the divergent
translations trying to figure out the right one while  bringing your dense
experience with language
to the discussion. So far as I can figure out, CH7 of Thought and Speech IS
the microgenesis of consciousness-as-culturally mediated action-in-society.
It is a part of the longer story of ontogenesis that encompasses the whole
book but in
a non-linear, cobbled together sort of way. To me it bespeaks tons about LSV
that the book has the structure it does.

I wonder that Eugene does not like ch7. I learn something new from it every
time I read it, and to think that it has different interesting
interpretations via different translators reinforces my feeling that it is
OUR business to make sense of it and to externalize that sense to make
meaning of it in ways appropriate to our own, troubled, times.

On Sat, Jun 20, 2009 at 6:38 PM, David Kellogg <vaughndogblack@yahoo.com>wrote:

> Actually, after I shot my mouth off I went home and looked up the bit on
> Spet in "The Formal Method". There's only a rather short, but disparaging,
> note there, though of course in general Bakhtin and his group are against
> Spet on a number of important points:
> a) The absolute distinction between denotation and connotation (this comes
> up in  Thinking and Speech Chapter Seven too of course.
> b) The word as "innerly" structured (as opposed to structured from
> without).
> c) The word as idea, as opposed to the word as part of an absolutely
> material social environment.
> There's also a lot on the Humboldtian view of language as "energeia", which
> Spet shared.
> In "Marxism and the Philosophy of Language", there's quite a bit more on
> Spet (p. 50, p. 102) and the words "completely inadmissable" are used both
> times.  Later on, of course, it was completely inadmissable to even mention
> his name, so I guess this is as close as we can get to the view of Bakhtin
> and his group.
> David Kellogg
> Seoul National University of Education
> --- On *Sat, 6/20/09, Mike Cole <lchcmike@gmail.com>* wrote:
> From: Mike Cole <lchcmike@gmail.com>
> Subject: [xmca] Fwd: Translation as Lipogram
> To: "Vladimir Zinchenko" <ZinchRAE@mtu-net.ru>
> Cc: "eXtended Mind, Culture,Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
> Date: Saturday, June 20, 2009, 7:43 AM
> Volodya--- There is a question for you at bottom of this note about
> translation that is address to you.
> mike
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: David Kellogg <vaughndogblack@yahoo.com<http://us.mc1103.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=vaughndogblack@yahoo.com>
> >
> Date: Fri, Jun 19, 2009 at 9:26 PM
> Subject: Translation as Lipogram
> To: mcole@weber.ucsd.edu<http://us.mc1103.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=mcole@weber.ucsd.edu>,
> Culture ActivityeXtended Mind <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu<http://us.mc1103.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
> >
> This morning I thought of a another example--that is, another example of a
> work of art that both is itself and is an example of itself or a
> translation
> of itself, like Proust's "In Search of Lost Time", which is both a novel
> about wasting time and a set of incredibly time wasting long sentences, and
> Yeats' poem about memory which is both a poem about memory and an example
> of
> how memories disappear as you go over them.
> In 1969, Georges Perec wrote a full length novel (312 pages) called "La
> disparition", without using the letter "e" (I think it was eventually
> translated into English as "A void". It was about various kinds of losses:
> the loss of letters, the loss of wordings, the loss of meanings, the loss
> of parents, and of course the loss of European Jewry in the Showa.
> It seems to me that a LOT of children's literature is like this: almost
> every great work of children's literature is about the loss of parents in
> one form or another. Freud famously attributes this to parricidal impulses;
> but there is a far more obvious impulse in the child's social situation of
> development, namely the irreconcilable contradiction of being
> ever-dependent
> on others for even basic needs and the inability of others to feel what we
> feel. The voice between sentences, which answers every question and which
> questions every answer, is already dying away, and it is soon not going to
> be there at all.
> Translation is another example, Achilles. I don't know if there have been
> any good studies on this specifically, though of course Volosinov does
> write
> about how it is only in translation and in foreign language learning that a
> mature language meets a mature consciousness. It's a second marriage for
> both, of course; but a lot of things are better the second time around.
> There's a nice poem called "Failing and Falling" by John Gilbert that seems
> to me to apply very well to children's literature, translation, foreign
> language learning, and all the other literature about lack.
> Anything worth doing is worth doing badly. …
> I believe Icarus was not failing as he fell,
> but just coming to the end of his triumph.
> David Kellogg
> Seoul National University of Education
> .
> PS: Why does Zinchenko think that Spet and Bakhtin have this deep affinity?
> There is a great deal in "The Formal Method" that strongly suggests the
> contrary. Was that just Medvedev?
> dk
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