At the selvedges of discourse: negotiating the "in-between” in Translation Studies

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The notion of the “in-between” has become a common trope in the work of many translation studies scholars in recent decades. However, in 2003, Maria Tymoczko famously took issue with the term, claiming not only that the concept is incompatible with a systems view of languages and cultures, but also that it subscribes to a Romantic notion of the translator as a “déclassé and alienated intellectual” and to a Platonic conception of meaning.
This article suggests that Tymoczko has construed the term somewhat differently from the authors she quotes, and that this miscomprehension has arisen from her own embedment in a philosophical culture grounded in empiricism and linguistic realism. Returning to the term’s sources in poststructuralist thought, I argue that the “in-between” should instead be understood on the symbolic level of discourse, which enables it to become a vehicle for a profoundly un-Platonic form of political engagement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43 – 61
Number of pages19
JournalWord and Text - A Journal of Literary Studies and Linguistics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • In-between
  • Translation
  • Discourse
  • Text


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