‘Practical Kabbala’: A translation into English of Leopoldo Lugones’s ‘Kábala práctica’ (1897)
AbstractThis article presents a translation from the Spanish of ‘Kábala práctica’/‘Practical Kabbala’, a short story in the fantastic mode published in 1897, preceded by an essay that considers the place and function of translation in the British literary system based on a case study of this story and its Argentinian author, Leopoldo Lugones (1874–1938). The introductory essay explores the possibility that the limited and only recent reception of Lugones’s work in the United Kingdom is related, albeit not exclusively, to a persistent British intercultural myopia as far as non-anglophone literatures are concerned that may be attributed to the anglophone linguistic exclusivism that is one consequence of the hegemonic status of English. This leads, it is argued, to a consecratory approach, based on iconic ‘snapshots’, to incorporation of translation into the British literary system, rather than an exploratory approach that seeks to uncover the hinterland; in other words, an approach that treats non-anglophone literatures as the cultural equivalents of holiday hotspots rather than fully stipulated cultural-discursive systems in their own right. The case of Lugones serves to demonstrate that an exploratory approach (by translators) to non-anglophone literatures reveals writers and literary traditions whose significance places ‘consecrated’ writers such as fellow Argentinian but now ‘World’ Borges in a context necessary to the elucidation of their own significance.
Citation‘Practical Kabbala’: A translation into English of Leopoldo Lugones’s ‘Kábala práctica’ (1897) 2014, 4 (1):93 Short Fiction in Theory & Practice
JournalShort Fiction in Theory & Practice, 4.1 (2014), pp93-104