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Where Only Wind Was Once Sown

The Tradition of Republicanism and the Agrarian Question in Brazil

Heloisa Maria Murgel Starling

The article traces the reception of different strands of Republicanism in Brazil. French republicanism inspired authors such as Euclides da Cunha in his realization that a true Brazilian republic would only be achieved with the inclusion of its vast interior and its destitute population. But the reception of republicanism in Brazil also drew from Anglo-Saxon sources, which resulted also in an emphasis on the political nature of the community. American republicanism, with its conception of territorial expansion, land possession, and active economic participation added a further dimension to Brazilian republicanism. In particular, Teofilo Otoni's attempt to create a political community in the Mucury Valley was modeled after the ideals of American republicanism. Even if the Brazilian republicanism that emerged from the reception of these strands failed to impose its agenda over the political mainstream, it provided a unifying ideology for the opposition throughout the Second Empire and the First Republic, and still constitutes a source of inspiration for political reform and criticism.

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From Politik als Beruf to Politics as a Vocation

The Translation, Transformation, and Reception of Max Weber's Lecture

Jens Borchert

Max Weber's 1919 lecture Politik als Beruf is still considered a classical text in the social sciences. The reception of the text in the Anglo-Saxon world has been profoundly shaped by the translation provided by Hans H. Gerth and C. Wright Mills, first appearing in 1946. Their Politics as a Vocation is more than a vivid transposition of Weber's rather peculiar German rhetoric—it is rendered in a way that suggests a certain interpretation and makes others highly improbable. The present article traces the reception of Weber's text back to certain decisions made by the translators after World War II. It argues that the translation emphasized philosophical and ethical parts of the text at the expense of others that were more geared toward a political sociology of modern politics. Moreover, the adoption of Weber's approach in empirical research was hindered if not foreclosed by a distorted presentation of his key typologies and some central concepts.

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More Than a Two-Way Traffic

Analyzing, Translating, and Comparing Political Concepts from other Cultures

Melvin Richter

In this article, the author examines the case of the Chinese reception of Western political and social concepts as an example to discuss the substantive issues involved in the circulation of concepts between Europe and other parts of the world. Translation and adaptation are key steps in this process of circulation. The question however is not to investigate whether the transposed concept is an accurate transcription of the original, but to understand how this concept acquires new meanings and rhetorical functions within the political and ideological disputes of the society to which is has been transposed. Thus, translation should be understood as a complex, multilayered process of intercultural communication whose result is affected by inequalities of power, but still open to multiple outcomes of agency, even when exercised in colonial or semi-colonial settings.

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Translation and Comparison

Early-Modern and Current Perspectives

László Kontler

This article attempts to refine the understanding of translation, thus contributing to evaluate its role in reception theory and in the history of ideas. A discussion of on the character, theories, and practices of translation in early-modern times is its entry point of analysis. During this period, what mattered in the first place was not the extent to which the translated text succeeded or failed in making the source text and its "original" ideas accessible in the target language, but rather the extent and the way in which the source text was instrumental in pursuing the agenda set by the translator or others in compliance with specific contexts. Such a perspective on translation seems also appropriate to current modes of inquiry for which translation is not an instance of inter-cultural communication, aiming to penetrate the Other in its fullness and make it intelligible in its otherness, but a communicative act whose purposes are predominantly intra-cultural and consist in supporting domestic agendas to which the translated text looks instrumental.

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Translation and Comparison II

A Methodological Inquiry into Reception in the History of Ideas

László Kontler

This article addresses the methodological issues involved in the study of interlingual translation as an avenue of reception in the history of ideas. In particular, it assesses the possible uses of linguistic contextualism and conceptual history (Begriffsgeschichte) in this endeavour. It argues that both of these approaches have been, or are capable of being, far more sensitive towards the phenomenon of reception and, indeed, this is an area where cross-fertilization between them (often commended in general but rarely if ever in specific terms) is a practical possibility. Perspectives from Rezeptionsgeschichte may provide useful tools for building bridges between them. A few case studies in translation history are then critically examined, and on the basis of the foregoing methodological reflections propositions are made for further refining the approach taken in those case studies.

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Romain Pudal

Je souhaiterais aborder dans cet article quelques éléments de l'histoire intellectuelle française susceptibles d'éclairer le contexte de réception du pragmatisme américain en France et de souligner certains des enjeux liés à cette réception; je m'intéresse donc ici plus particulièrement à la réception du pragmatisme de William James et John Dewey entre les années 1890 et 1920 environ. Durant cette période, on trouve de nombreux textes consacrés au pragmatisme dont on peut donner un aperçu chronologique en rappelant les principaux titres. En 1906, traduction de James Les variétés de l'expérience religieuse avec une préface d'Emile Boutroux; le 7 mai 1908 une séance de la Société française de Philosophie intitulée 'Signification du pragmatisme'; puis en 1908 de nouveau un texte d'Emile Boutroux Science et religion où il est notamment question de James; le texte de James Pragmatisme préfacé par Bergson en 1911; en 1913 Un romantisme utilitaire de René Berthelot puis en 1921 De l'utilité du pragmatisme de Georges Sorel. Tous ces textes et bien d'autres forment la toile de fond d'un débat sur le pragmatisme auquel un auteur quelque peu inattendu va apporter une contribution majeure; cet auteur c'est Emile Durkheim lui-même qui sera le seul à proposer un cours intégralement consacré au pragmatisme en 1913-1914 mais il faudra attendre 1955 pour en avoir une publication en français à partir de notes de cours grace au travail d'Armand Cuvillier, et 1983 pour qu'il en existe une version anglaise avec une introduction d'Allcock. Tous les commentateurs actuels s'accordent pour dire que ce cours n'a pas eu l'attention qu'il méritait et qu'il demeure méconnu et injustement relégué au rang de 'document historique'1 sans être considéré à sa juste valeur.

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‘And gret wel Chaucer whan ye mete’

Chaucer’s Earliest Readers, Addressees and Audiences

Sebastian Sobecki

Little can be said with any certainty about the earliest reception of Chaucer’s works. We do not really know how his writings were experienced. Were the poems enjoyed in silence by individual readers who may or may not have mouthed the words as they

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Benoît Glaude

The forms taken up by French comics in the Offenstadt brothers' wartime weeklies echo other representations of the Great War produced behind the front lines, including the music hall, popular imagery and illustrated newspapers. The Offenstadt brothers' picture stories, which staged comic operas starring soldiers and conformed to French propaganda instructions, were a hit with soldiers and civilians (including children), aside from some offended Catholic critics. This essay contextualises their success, focusing on the reception of the comics, particularly those by Louis Forton.

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Hannah Birr

It has become a commonplace that the audience of a film is active. What sort of activity is involved when the audience is from one culture—say, Germany—and the film is from another culture—say, India? This article examines the processes involved in such cross-cultural film reception. It focuses on two aspects that are often regarded as problematic for the enjoyment of a film in terms of understanding and emotional response. The first is an obviously characteristic feature of Hindi cinema, namely the song and dance sequences. The second is perhaps less obvious, but no less characteristic—intertextuality and self-referential humor. The example explored in the article—Farah Khan's Om Shanti Om—displays a multitude of ironic allusions to the history of the Indian film industry and other culturally specific elements, which present a special challenge to uninformed audiences. In this context the article concentrates on a segment of active viewers that has at least some degree of familiarity with, but, more important, expresses a definite interest in Hindi cinema: Western (non-Indian) fans. The article argues that it is a misconception to regard cultural particularity as essentially problematic. On the contrary, elements that initially seem to present a hindrance might actually facilitate the development of empathy and identification. The point is perhaps particularly true in the social context of fan (culture) reception and offers some explanation for the films' cross-cultural appeal.

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Benedict O'Donahoe

The autumn of 1998 saw a fiftieth anniversary revival of Sartre’s Les Mains sales at the Théâtre Antoine in Paris, complete with facsimile programme of its premiere, placing emphasis upon the chequered history of this controversial play. The review in Le Monde also privileged an account of the political context of the play’s creation over an assessment of the production’s virtues: ‘Nous regardons la photo un peu passée de ce qui nous avait secoués.’ This reception suggests that Sartre the dramatist is already remembered chiefly as the author of circumstantial and thesis plays whose interest depended largely upon their historical moment. It is noticeable that other pastmasters, more ‘past’ than Sartre – Molière, Racine, Feydeau – attracted greater critical attention in the Parisian rentrée of that year, as did one near-anagrammatic contemporary, Nathalie Sarraute.