II. The Conversation of Judgment
“Even [Ray] find the origin of the fidelity discourse outside the academy. It lies in our ordinary discussion of adaptations: ‘Without the benefit of a presiding poetics, film and literature scholars could only persist…in asking about individual movies the same unproductive layman question (How does the film compare with the book?) getting the same unproductive answer (The book is better).’ For Ray, the layman’s question has poisoned academic criticism because it rests on a comparison.”
“In the appreciation of a work of art or an art form, consideration of the receiver never proves fruitful. Not only is any reference to a particular public or its representatives misleading, but even the concept of an ‘ideal’ receiver is detrimental in the theoretical consideration of art, since all it posits is the existence and nature of man as such. Art, in the same way, posits man’s physical and spiritual existence, but in none of its works is it concerned with his attentiveness. No poem is intended for the reader, no picture for the beholder, no symphony for the audience” — Walter Benjamin, “The Task of the Translator.”
“It is evident that no translation, however good it may be can have any significance as regards the original…For a translation come later than the original, and since the important works of world literature never find their chosen translators at the time of their origin, their translation marks their stage of continued life.” — Walter Benjamin
“The philosopher’s task consists in comprehending all of natural life through the more encompassing life of history. And indeed, isn’t the afterlife of works of art far easier to recognize than that of living creatures? The history of the great works of art tells us about their descent from prior models, their realization in the age of the artist, and what in principle should be their eternal afterlife in succeeding generations.”
“To grasp the genuine relationship between an original and a translation requires an investigation analogous in its intention to the argument by which a critique of cognition would have to prove the impossibility of a theory of imitation. In the latter, it is a question of showing that a cognition there could be no objectivity, nor even a claim to it, if this were to consist in imitation of the real; in the former, on can demonstrate that no translation would be possible if in its ultimate essence it strove for likeness to the original. For in its afterlife — which could not be called that if it were not a transformation and a renewal of something living — the original undergoes a change.” — Walter Benjamin.