Davar and Dissoi Logoi

Looking in the mirror, we see only our own image reflected, rather than the face of our neighbor. It is only by the process of translation, to and from our native languages, that we can create true human connections between different people. In order to promote a culture of peace and mutual understanding, it is necessary that we relinquish the impoverished values of the monolingual Logos and adopt the pluralistic values of the dynamic Davar.
–David Shasha, “Monolingualism, Scriptural Translation and the Problem of Western Civilization

(Two quick correctives — of course 2, a plurality. First, it’s the human Aristotle who pressed for the monolingual value of logic, which is very much alive and well here in the West. Second, he was terrified of the logos, the dialectic too, the sophisms, the rhetoric of women, rhetorics in general, and especially the Dissoi Logoi. And, third, in agreement with Shasha, we’ll quote Francois Hartog with him, “The fact remains that, generally speaking, the Greeks did tend to speak nothing but Greek.” None was more monolingually “Greek” in his thinking than Aristotle, none more singularly “Greek” in his action than Alexander the Great.)


One response to “Davar and Dissoi Logoi

  1. Pingback: My Experience | Mind Your Language

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