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Scenes of Translation: Responses to Responses

Vicente L. Rafael


In his “Response to Responses,” Vicente Rafael thanks and answers the questions raised during the forum. To Gary Devilles’s comment of his “remaining silent” in the way translation can be “radicalized into an ethical technology or a strategic pedagogy,” Rafael offers the trope of revenge—a desire for justice, which results from the Spanish misrecognition of Filipino attempts at translation—and the language of secrecy and solidarity of the 1896 Revolution—which results from the failure of Castilian to become lingua franca—as political technics in themselves. To Ramon Guillermo’s comment of the book’s impoverished, restrictive, and imprecise notions of translation, Rafael reiterates and contends his multivalent conception of translation: always doubled and open-ended; dialectical and dialogical; “that which is new and for this reason yet to be assimilated and understood;” in sum, “that which is always inside and outside, eccentric yet inherent to the social order,” constitutive as well as disruptive. To Remmon Barbaza’s Heideggerian reading, Rafael thankfully re-emphasizes the recurrent motif of the foreign as call and the affinity of this with the foreign as promise. Finally, to Roland Tolentino’s “disconcerting” series of questions, Vince Rafael warns against the fetishization of translation when detached from its particularity, and its envisagement as “the subjugation of the other in order to realize one’s sense of self, a self predicated on the mastery of the other’s discourse.”

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13185/1520