This paper aims at analyzing the translatological choices that have been overlapping each other in the course of the editorial fortune of Foucault’s works first in the Soviet Union and then in Russia. Our choice fell on some particularly significant concepts that recur throughout the philosopher’s work - not limited to the scope of specifically medical discourse -, i.e. key terms starting from which Foucault structures his reflection. As regards the existence of an overall Foucaultian medical discourse, it must be pointed out that it is a reconstruction a posteriori, that covers all the works that can broadly be related to this subject and takes into account, rather than their traditional periodization as proposed by commentators, the claims made by Foucault himself, who has always insisted on the unity and complementary nature of his work. The attempt to undertake a similar analysis leads to a twofold fundamental problem. In fact, on the one hand, the terminology used by Foucault hides a multiplicity of meanings and possible interpretations ab origine, in addition to the complexity of his expositive style and the constant renewal of a philosophical reflection that the philosopher himself conceives as never completely finished. In this regard, it may be noted that Foucault revisits the topic of insanity both at the beginning of his career (in the 1950s), in the 1960’s (in his masterpiece Madness and Civilization) and again in the late 1970s, during the courses held at the Collège de France. A second problematic issue rises on a linguistic level, concerning the rendering in a foreign language of Foucaultian key concepts. In this sense the story of Russian translations of the philosopher’s work represents a case in point. The first translator of Foucault’s major works in the Soviet Union, Natalija Avtomonova, already in the 1970s began to highlight the difficulties encountered by the translator in approaching the dense network of meanings enclosed in Foucault’s text. An example could be the rendering of the term discours (discourse), which in Russian is split into diskurs and diskursija. This choice is based on the acuteness of Avtomonova, who after realizing the complexity and multiplicity of meanings with which the term occurred, tried to convey this gap by introducing a neologism, such as diskursija. It is not, however, the only term raising problems on a translatological plan. In particular, the French term dispositif, translated into Italian as dispositivo (device), is one of the essential cores of Foucault’s entire philosophical thought. It suffers a fate similar to that of discours, from time to time having been translated as dispozitiv (a borrowing from the French), or as apparat or ustrojstvo. All three translations bring with them their own issues, due to an often interpretive intervention operated by the translator. Furthermore, it must be noted that if Foucault’s language, in Italian translation, has achieved an effective terminological stability during the years, the same cannot be said of Russian translations. The Russian case, therefore, appears to be particularly significant and leads us to question the role of philosophical translation and the translator’s responsibility, a topic certainly too wide to be discussed herein. Beyond the merely linguistic issues, its significance consists in its allowing us to draw attention to the difficulties of an essentially conceptual, rather than terminological, rendering. These difficulties, though, are precisely what constituted the core of Foucault’s insight when, focusing on the analysis of the layers of meaning, he distinguished between first and secondary languages.
|Titolo:||Il discorso medico di Foucault. Alcune particolarità della traduzione russa|
RIMONDI, Giorgia (Corresponding)
|Data di pubblicazione:||2018|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||4.1b Atto convegno Volume|