Ghent University Academic Bibliography

Advanced

The freedom of expressing one's ideas: translating La Mettrie

Lieve Jooken UGent and Guy Rooryck UGent (2011) TRANSLATOR. 17(2). p.233-254
abstract
This paper discusses the English translation of one of the Enlightenment's main works of materialist philosophy, Julien Offray de La Mettrie's L'homme machine (1747). Radicalizing the mechanical metaphor that Descartes had applied to animals, La Mettrie's work states that the human body and the human soul are instances of the same substance. This early emancipatory expression in favour of a scientific study of the human being took issue with the contemporary theological doxa, revealing the changes and mutations that were taking place in the field of knowledge. The English translation, Man a Machine, appeared in 1749. Drawing on the Bourdieuan concepts of field and habitus and the opposition between ethos and doxa (Maingueneau 2002), this article contextualizes the subversive impact of the original text and offers an analysis of its paratexts, including the reception of the translation in the British periodical press. This is followed by an examination of the translator's textual interventions to reveal how the translation either makes the materialist claims of the original more explicit or polarizes its assumed communicative purpose vis-a-vis the doxa. While L'homme machine could only communicate its dissent in elusive terms, the translation highlights the polemical character of the text and communicates its radical ideas more forcefully to a nation that was considered the most liberal of its time.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (original)
publication status
published
subject
keyword
La Mettrie, Eighteenth-century Philosophy, L'homme machine, Pierre Bourdieu, explicitation, Gerard Genette, paratexts, Materialism
journal title
TRANSLATOR
Translator
volume
17
issue
2
issue title
Science in Translation
pages
233 - 254
Web of Science type
Article
Web of Science id
000296671200004
JCR category
LINGUISTICS
JCR impact factor
0.3 (2011)
JCR rank
106/158 (2011)
JCR quartile
3 (2011)
ISSN
1355-6509
language
English
UGent publication?
no
classification
A1
copyright statement
I have transferred the copyright for this publication to the publisher
id
1935899
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-1935899
date created
2011-10-26 22:02:22
date last changed
2016-12-19 15:41:58
@article{1935899,
  abstract     = {This paper discusses the English translation of one of the Enlightenment's main works of materialist philosophy, Julien Offray de La Mettrie's L'homme machine (1747). Radicalizing the mechanical metaphor that Descartes had applied to animals, La Mettrie's work states that the human body and the human soul are instances of the same substance. This early emancipatory expression in favour of a scientific study of the human being took issue with the contemporary theological doxa, revealing the changes and mutations that were taking place in the field of knowledge. The English translation, Man a Machine, appeared in 1749. Drawing on the Bourdieuan concepts of field and habitus and the opposition between ethos and doxa (Maingueneau 2002), this article contextualizes the subversive impact of the original text and offers an analysis of its paratexts, including the reception of the translation in the British periodical press. This is followed by an examination of the translator's textual interventions to reveal how the translation either makes the materialist claims of the original more explicit or polarizes its assumed communicative purpose vis-a-vis the doxa. While L'homme machine could only communicate its dissent in elusive terms, the translation highlights the polemical character of the text and communicates its radical ideas more forcefully to a nation that was considered the most liberal of its time.},
  author       = {Jooken, Lieve and Rooryck, Guy},
  issn         = {1355-6509},
  journal      = {TRANSLATOR},
  keyword      = {La Mettrie,Eighteenth-century Philosophy,L'homme machine,Pierre Bourdieu,explicitation,Gerard Genette,paratexts,Materialism},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {233--254},
  title        = {The freedom of expressing one's ideas: translating La Mettrie},
  volume       = {17},
  year         = {2011},
}

Chicago
Jooken, Lieve, and Guy Rooryck. 2011. “The Freedom of Expressing One’s Ideas: Translating La Mettrie.” Translator 17 (2): 233–254.
APA
Jooken, L., & Rooryck, G. (2011). The freedom of expressing one’s ideas: translating La Mettrie. TRANSLATOR, 17(2), 233–254.
Vancouver
1.
Jooken L, Rooryck G. The freedom of expressing one’s ideas: translating La Mettrie. TRANSLATOR. 2011;17(2):233–54.
MLA
Jooken, Lieve, and Guy Rooryck. “The Freedom of Expressing One’s Ideas: Translating La Mettrie.” TRANSLATOR 17.2 (2011): 233–254. Print.