Hello and welcome to the first issue of Sitegeist since the pandemic struck in 2020. Our theme for this edition is translation, with four diverse articles and related pieces that explore the concept of translation and psychoanalysis in its widest context.
In Montreal, 1979, Patrick Mahony was one of the participants amongst the assembled philosophers, professors of literature and psychoanalysts who had gathered to discuss autobiography, transference and translation later captured in The Ear and the Other. He began his contribution with Roman Jacobsen’s three definition of translation, stated as:
1 intralingual translation, or paraphrase;
2 interlingual translation, or translation in the most common sense;
3 intersemiotic translation, in which, for example verbal signs are reencoded in nonverbal sign systems.
Mahoney went on to query whether it may be more accurate to think of psychoanalysis less as a process of translation, than one of transformation. This shift came into focus due to a concern with undecidability which renders analysis a ‘semiotic of approximations’. More recently, these points of enquiry echoed through a conference in Summer 2019, hosted by the Site and Freud Museum, Translation and Psychoanalysis, convening a varied group to ‘explore the complex links between psychoanalysis and translation across history, culture, politics and psychoanalytic theory and practice’.
Several of the reflections delivered in, and coming from, the conference are represented in the articles of this issue, taking up again the role of psychoanalysis in light of the vicissitudes of translation.