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segunda-feira 10 de julho de 2023

erdenken  , erdichten, inventer, forger

There are yet some additional, practical hermeneutic strategies that became available, viable through the rendering of “er-” in er-denken (as well as in other words with the prefix “er-”) as “en” and thus er-denken as “en-thinking” (and similarly in the case of other words in the same group) in English. Admittedly, “en-” is a simple term and “en-thinking” is a simple word; they are not   convoluted, not contrived, though inventive. Their simplicity contributes to the clarity of, and to the discernment of consistency in, saying. One could have adopted or thought of some other strategy that might have provided, guaranteed, a priori   assured (prefixed) greater conformity to the existing ordinary language and linguistic practices. It would not have been impossible to render the German prefix “er-” in erdenken (and similarly in other words with the same prefix) with an adjective (!) in English and thus, for example, as “radical thinking,” “primordial thinking,” or, horribile dictu, as “thinking-2” as different from “thinking-1,” the latter standing for “metaphysical, representational thinking” (one could have attempted rendering erdenken in English with “thinking” as a crossed-out word). The adjectival strategy (technique), a form of paraphrasing in disguise, surely would have led to ambiguities, in the last   analysis, to obfuscation of meaning, to convoluted and thoughtless text   in English. This strategy is simply not practical, not viable; it is preempted by the usage of many diverse, alternative adjectives preceding the word denken (thinking) in Heidegger’s German (e.g., ursprüngliches Denken, originary thinking; wesentliches Denken, essential thinking; anfängliches Denken, inceptional thinking; vorstellendes Denken, representational thinking; erdenkendes Denken, thoughtful thinking). The adjectival strategy may be useful in elucidating the word with the prefix in question; it may be helpful for making more discernible and graspable the intended (at times hidden) meaning of the word with the prefix (e.g., rendering, in fact replacing, the prefix with a suitable adjective in the given context); but this strategy is useless, destructive of the meaning of the German text, of Heidegger’s thinking and saying, in the case (in the work) of translation. This example calls the attention to the economy of translation.

“En-thinking,” then, is a strategic, simple, and faithful English rendering of the German er-denken. This translation is inventive, but not awkward; it is not without precedent in the English language, for example, en-compassing, en-closing, encampment, en-chanting, en-trusting. These and many others can be found in dictionaries. Having examined the function of the prefix “er-” in Heidegger’s German and the senses and function of the English usage of “en-,” Parvis Emad   and Kenneth Maly opted for “en-” in translating erdenken as “enthinking,” as well as in rendering ersehen as “enseeing.” Working with the translation (Contributions) and keeping in mind the justifications of translation decisions bring about familiarity with the “en-words.” The simplicity of the “new” word in the translation signals its special, fuller meaning, and retains the disclosing power of the “German saying” in English. The consistent usage of the same word (for rendering the same original German), once grasped to the extent feasible, contributes to the “readability” of the text (of the translation). Working with the translation renders more and more familiar, more and more telling the initially new or seemingly unusual words and expressions (as well as the linguistic strategies at play); it opens up and preserves the disclosive power of saying, and thus the experience (movement) of thinking, harbored within the text. [G. Kovacs]