Till Dembeck

Literaturwissenschaft in Forschung und Lehre

Post-Monolingual Writing

Post-Monolingual Writing? On the jargon of philology, with Georg Mein (2014); deutsche Fassung 2012 unter dem Titel »Post-monolingual schreiben?«

This article inquires into the relation of philology to monolingualism. In a first step, it shows how arguments that support the use of different languages for philological inquiry, actually rely on monolingual norms. This is not only due to the still overwhelming impact of the national philologies. Also arguments popularized by the rationalistic philosophical tradition that aims at developing unitary languages of description are of major influence on philological monolingualism. In a second step, this article demonstrates that there is an even older tradition in philology that puts language difference into the focus, and that relies on different practices of translation. In order to overcome the monolingual background of most of these practices, philology, so the conclusion, will have to embrace the lines of argument that Benjamin and Adorno have proposed in relation to language policies.