Translating traces: deconstruction and the practice of translation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this article I attempt to show that deconstruction and its practicesshould not be read as intimations towards plurality or relativism intranslation, but should rather be utilised as a powerful analytical tool, away of reading and writing with heightened awareness. In order toarrive at this conclusion, I discuss différance and the play of the tracein the context of the cont(r)act between two texts that are in arelationship of translation. I further argue that plurality as contained inDerrida’s différance is not a directive, but that the translator has to beaware of the existence of plurality and to take into account that thereader also participates in and contributes to this plurality.
The key to an application of Derrida’s theory is shown to be situated inthe process rather than in the product of translation, and this processhas to move beyond a hierarchical opposition of “original” andtranslation. I conclude that différance becomes not an obstacle orbarrier to translation, but specifically that which, in making somethinguntranslatable, creates the need for translation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-71
Number of pages25
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Translating traces: deconstruction and the practice of translation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this