Saturday, March 21, 2009
Translation by Ian Johnston
Whatever might have been be the basis for this dubious book, it must have been a question of the utmost importance and charm, as well as a deeply personal one at the time—testimony to that effect is the period in which it arose, in spite of which it arose, that disturbing era of the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-71. While the thunderclap of the Battle of Wörth was reverberating across Europe, the meditative lover of enigmas whose lot it was to father this book sat somewhere in a corner of the Alps, extremely reflective and perplexed, thus simultaneously very distressed and carefree, and wrote down his thoughts about the Greeks—the kernel of that odd and difficult book to which this later preface (or postscript) should be dedicated. A few weeks after that, he found himself under the walls of Metz, still not yet free of the question mark which he had set down beside the alleged “serenity” of the Greeks and of Greek culture, until, in that month of the deepest tension, as peace was being negotiated in Versailles, he finally came to peace with himself and, while slowly recovering from an illness he had brought back home with him from the field, finished composing the Birth of Tragedy out of the Spirit of Music.—From music? Music and tragedy? The Greeks and the Music of Tragedy? The Greeks and the art work of pessimism? The most successful, most beautiful, most envied people, those with the most encouraging style of life so far—the Greeks? How can this be? Did they of all people need tragedy? Even more—art? What for—Greek art?
Saturday, March 14, 2009
ਚੇਤੁ ਬਸੰਤੁ ਭਲਾ ਭਵਰ ਸੁਹਾਵੜੇ ॥
ਬਨ ਫੂਲੇ ਮੰਝ ਬਾਰਿ ਮੈ ਪਿਰੁ ਘਰਿ ਬਾਹੁੜੈ ॥
ਪਿਰੁ ਘਰਿ ਨਹੀ ਆਵੈ ਧਨ ਕਿਉ ਸੁਖੁ ਪਾਵੈ ਬਿਰਹਿ ਬਿਰੋਧ ਤਨੁ ਛੀਜੈ ॥
ਕੋਕਿਲ ਅੰਬਿ ਸੁਹਾਵੀ ਬੋਲੈ ਕਿਉ ਦੁਖੁ ਅੰਕਿ ਸਹੀਜੈ ॥
ਭਵਰੁ ਭਵੰਤਾ ਫੂਲੀ ਡਾਲੀ ਕਿਉ ਜੀਵਾ ਮਰੁ ਮਾਏ ॥
ਨਾਨਕ ਚੇਤਿ ਸਹਜਿ ਸੁਖੁ ਪਾਵੈ ਜੇ ਹਰਿ ਵਰੁ ਘਰਿ ਧਨ ਪਾਏ ॥੫॥
editors Wood & Bernasconi (Warwick: Parousia Press 1985) p. 1-5.
10, July 1983
Dear Professor Izutsu,
At our last meeting I promised you some schematic and preliminary reflections on the word "deconstruction". What we discussed were prolegomena to a possible translation of this word into Japanese, one which would at least try to avoid, if possible, a negative determination of its significations or connotations. The question would be therefore what deconstruction is not, or rather ought not to be. I underline these words "possible" and "ought". For if the difficulties of translation can be anticipated (and the question of deconstruction is also through and through the question of translation, and of the language of concepts, of the conceptual corpus of so-called "western" metaphysics), one should not begin by naively believing that the word "deconstruction" corresponds in French to some clear and univocal signification. There is already in "my" language a serious [sombre] problem of translation between what here or there can be envisaged for the word, and the usage itself, the reserves of the word. And it is already clear that even in French, things change from one context to another. More so in the German, English, and especially American contexts, where the same word is already attached to very different connotations, inflections, and emotional or affective values. Their analysis would be interesting and warrants a study of its own.