The biblical story of Babel has long served as a powerful image for translators in western civilization, stimulating much productive discourse about translation history, mythology, theory and practice. It is therefore interesting to note that the biblical story itself, despite its apparent antiquity and remarkable brevity, has been strongly influenced by even earlier sources stemming from societies antedating its ancient Israelite authors. This article examines some of the most interesting examples of cross-cultural and intertextual references from ancient proverbs and writings including well-known works such as the Gilgamesh epic and the Babylonian creation epic, Enûma Eliš. The delightfully subtle translingual wordplay in the name ‘Babel’ is also clarified. The biblical Tower of Babel reveals a startling complexity resulting from the wealth of intercultural and multilingual contacts that constitute the distant foundation of western tradition.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 1, 2011
More about this publication?
- Revue internationale de la traduction / International Journal of Translation