The Double-Bind of Literary Translation

The reason that translation is possible at all is because you can say anything in any language, just not with the same words as in the original. Most often, reliance on so called linguistic equivalencies produces bad translation. What I will do is argue for the freedom of the literary translator, though a freedom based on knowledge, care and an ultimately tragic understanding of the problem of meaning and its transmission. I will present a number of questions facing the literary translator, including the difficulty of defining meaning, the problem of untranslatability, understanding as interpretation, and what does the translator translate (Words? Sentences? Something else?), and then present some examples. I hope to leave ample time for discussion afterwards.