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2. The theories of semiotics: langue and parole, the signifier and the signified


d) The eternal struggle between Chance and Necessity

The main problem in literary translation in therefore that of respecting the parole characteristic of each writer. Transgression is the vital act of the narrative procedure, but is experienced as such by a hypothetical reader only in the sphere of the langue within which his experience has always moved. Therefore, to translate literature the construction of a triple system of interior consistencies is necessary:

  1. A primary coherence within the text (parole system).
  2. A coherence obtained within the linguistic code (langue system).
  3. A secondary coherence within the translated text (langue system derived from the parole system)).

The third level not only holds the previous two levels, but conveys a process of refracting and also gaining of meaning. In short, the reader gathers the degree of synthesis of the third level, which must therefore be anti-dogmatically followed, even regardless of any assumption of interlinear exactness, within the scope of the two first levels. In fact, the exactness of the two first levels involves ipso facto the inexactness of the third, hence the failure of the entire translation process.
Thus, on a semiotic level, we are addressing what Jacques Monod defines in Biology as "the eternal struggle between Chance and Necessity".

In fact, going beyond the process of signifying and remaking words the "markers of context" able to convey imaginative archetypes, and through them, emotions, is only possible by transgression with respect to the ‘language’ system, subsumed by the writer without the possibility of choice. The semiotic sphere, a branch of de Saussure’s Linguistics, shows us how only fruition of the text by the reader can become a docimological principle for appraising the qualities of a translation. And once again, the figure of the translator emerges as that of the first and most profound reader of the text. In this sense, every translation is philological operation; assuming that, as Nietzsche stated, "philology is the art of slowly reading a text".