Philosophy Today 65 (1):125-143 (2021)

The distinct role of the concept metaphor of “translation” in psychoanalysis has been obscured. It has generally been considered in conjunction if not synonymy with metaphors of “writing/graphy,” leaving it theoretically underdetermined. Its distinct role went largely unnoticed, moreover, since Freud himself dropped the concept metaphor of translation from his work after 1900. However, this did not prevent it from re-surfacing in a pivotal role in Jean Laplanche’s structural-linguistic accounts of “the drive to translate” and of the translation model of repression. To provide a bridge between Freud’s remarks on the role of translation, and his own tenets on language in relation to the unconscious, Laplanche reads Walter Benjamin on translation—to incongruous effect, which this article proposes to address, in turn, by re-instating a distinct role for translation.
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DOI 10.5840/philtoday2021219387
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