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Parvis Emad & Kenneth Maly: WERFEN


sábado 8 de abril de 2017, por Cardoso de Castro

Translator’s Foreword

I. The Group of Words That Gather Around One Single Word

4. Werfen and Related Words

The root-word for the phenomenological kinship among the words ent-werfen, loswerfen, Entwurf  , Entwerfer, Entworfenes, Werfer, Wurf, Gegenwurf, Loswurf, and Geworfenheit   — all of which put forth the being-historical thinking of Contributions as an enactment-thinking — is werfen. The orienting power of this word as a being-historical word is unmistakably at work in this family of words and should be preserved in the English translation. When Heidegger calls the main task of the Contributions an Entwurf, he alludes to the role that the word werfen/throwing plays in the entirety of this work.

We use "throw" and "throwing" to translate all of the above variants of werfen, except for Entwurf which we translate as "projecting-open," (occasionally also as "projecting-opening") and entwerfen, which we translate as "to project-open." [1]

In an effort to preserve the phenomenological kinship among werfen and related words and to find appropriate words for rendering entwerfen and Entwurf, sections 122, 182, 183, 203, 262, 263, and 264 of the Contributions prove to be crucial. These sections bring together entwerfen, loswerfen, Entwurf, Entwerfer, Geworfenheit, Gegenwurf, Loswurf, Wurf, and Werfer in such a way as to leave no doubt that what is at stake in entwerfen and Entwurf is an act of opening and disclosing which, as enowned by be-ing, does not   occur in the domain of subjective choice and decision. We found that the prevailing renditions of entwerfen and Entwurf with projecting and projection fail to avoid a subject-oriented misinterpretation and mistranslation of entwerfen and Entwurf and do not fully and clearly account for the activity of opening and disclosing. Thus, in translating entwerfen and Entwurf, we decided to avoid both failures in that we modified projecting by indicating that it is one that opens up. Thus for entwerfen we chose to say: to project-open. This rendition is necessary if we want to differentiate entwerfen from such subjective manners of acting as planning, designing, scheming, etc., i.e., from the familiar meanings of projecting. Let us take a closer look at this rendition.

The English word open differentiates "to project-open" from the familiar translation of entwerfen, namely "to project," in that the word open accounts for the significant impact of the German prefix ent- upon the infinitive werfen in entwerfen. Since one of the functions of the prefix ent- is to unfold the action of the verb to which it is attached, we attend to this function by adding the word open to "projecting." Thus "to project-open" as a rendition of entwerfen indicates that this projecting is distinguished by an opening, which differentiates it from what happens as planning, designing, scheming, plotting, etc.

We prefer this rendition to projecting by itself because "projecting" by itself can mislead the reader into thinking that entwerfen is entirely under the jurisdiction of the thinking subject. The English word projecting has not only a psychoanalytic connotation, it also implies planning, scheming, programming, designing — involves strategy and control. Neither the connotation nor the implication is appropriate here. More importantly, by placing itself under the command of the thinking subject, projecting fails to account for entwerfen’s being enowned by be-ing. We find that it is "projecting-open" rather than "projecting" that is capable of reflecting the fundamental insight of Contributions, according to which thinking, as being-historical, is above all enowned by being and is thus not a matter of strategy and control.

The decision to translate entwerfen as "to project-open" determined our rendition of Entwurf. We decided to translate this word with projecting-open, sometimes with projecting-opening, as these renditions meet two demands of the original: First, these renditions allow for carrying into English the meaning of Entwurf when the word is hyphenated, i.e., Ent-wurf Second, these renditions bring into English the unfolding of throwing in that the first part of the compound, "projecting," unfolds what goes on in its second part, "open" (or "opening"), and thus indicates that thinking cannot forego its allotted exertion (which does not mean control). When used alone, the English word project meets neither of these demands. When project is hyphenated, i.e., pro-ject, the meaning of Wurf is lost.

Moreover, in translating Entwurf, we must not use the word project alone, because this word by itself can mislead the reader into thinking that Entwurf has something to do with a "perspective." As Heidegger alerts us in Contributions, perspective has nothing in common with Entwurf and must be clearly distinguished from it:

Here [Entwurf] … is not a "perspective…." For every perspective always lays claim to what is passed through for its point of view.

Seen in this light, Entwurf des Seins, as enacted in Contributions, is a projecting open of being (sometimes projecting being open), which does not rely on a point of view since it projects being open as that into which this very same Entwurf is thrown.

We translate Werfer in such a way that its connection with werfen continues to be preserved. We realized that the word Werfer must be translated in a way that reflects its phenomenological kinship with entwerfen as well as with Entwurf and Geworfenheit. We translated Werfer as thrower — which clearly preserves the relationship of thrower to thrownness, i.e., Geworfenheit. This relationship would be totally lost if we translated Werfer with projector We found projector unsuitable for rendering Werfer into English because in its current as well as archaic use, projector indicates either an agent who is in charge of a project or an instrument used for projecting, both of which do not reflect the Werfer as one who is thrown into and thus enowned by being. Moreover, the word projector in this context is extremely awkward.

By translating Werfer as thrower, we preserved the relationship between Werfer and Geworfenheit as a relationship between thrower and thrownness. Thus the interconnection of words like Werfer, Entwurf and Geworfertheit, and the relationship so vital to an understanding of Contributions, between Entwurf and Geworfenheit — obvious in German — are preserved. This also resolves the issue of translating der geworfene Entwurf. We rendered this technical term with thrown projecting-open. (An option in current use, "thrown projection," preserves all the disadvantages of "projection" and is generally inadequate.)

By translating Werfer with thrower; we paved the way for translating Entwerfer and das Entworfene. The context in which Entwerfer appears makes clear that Werfer and Entwerfer are the same. Thus for Entwerfer we also say "thrower." And we translate das Entworfene as "what is thrown."

Having translated entwerfen, Entwurf, Werfer, Entwerfer, and das Entworfene in such a way as to preserve the connection with throwing, we rendered Wurf into English as "throw." Translation of Wurf with throw further determined our rendition of the compounds Gegenwurf and Loswurf, which we translate with counter-throw and free-throw. In the same vein we rendered loswerfen with throwing free. Renditions of Gegenwurf, loswerfen and Loswurf with counter-throw, throwing free, and free-throw capture the being-historical movement in the context of idea  .


[1The present rendition of entwerfen and Entwurf owes a great deal to the etymological and philosophical analyses of F.-W. von Herrmann. See his Hermeneutische Phänomenologie des Daseins: Eine Erlauterung von "Sein und Zeit" vol. 1, Einleitung: Die Exposition der Frage nach dem Sein (Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 1987), pp. 108-109. In this work von Herrmann shows that, in contrast to its usual everyday understanding as a projection, entwerfen and Entwurf in Heidegger should always be understood as throwing-opening (entwerfend-aufschliefiend).