Affective Translation: Empathy and The Memory of Love
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In a context where developing greater empathy across cultures has been widely posed by liberal and neoliberal commentators as an affective balm to transnational violence, conflict and oppression, the late anthropologist Robert Solomon’s words above are thought-provoking. He suggests that cross-cultural communication and engagement require empathy, yet an empathy tethered not only to the questions of how or whether we can really know another individual but also those of how or whether we can know another (social, cultural, political and temporal) context. As such, Solomon points to the existence of different kinds of affective ‘languages’ and to the importance (and difficulty) of affective translation as a critical practice. 1 This chapter explores the possibilities and limitations of affective translation in relation to empathy, asking both how empathy itself is translated and what role it might play in wider practices of affective, linguistic and cultural translation.
KeywordsAffective Relation Italic Mine Emotional Identification Critical Practice Cultural Translation
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