Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
In the Shadow of World LiteratureSites of Reading in Colonial Egypt$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Michael Allan

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691167824

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691167824.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 13 April 2021



The Rosetta Stone from Object to Text

(p.39) 2 Translation
In the Shadow of World Literature

Michael Allan

Princeton University Press

This chapter considers translation in terms of how a particular relationship to language is born with the decoding of the Rosetta Stone. It shows how the Rosetta Stone is transformed from an object to a text to be deciphered, decoded, and analyzed by an international network of scholars. What is discovered with the Rosetta Stone, the chapter argues, is less an object than a particular textuality based on an understanding of language as a code. It also explains how the translational ethic that points to the equivalence of Greek and hieroglyphics actually levels the political and theological distinctions between the three languages: the Greek language, the language of politics, demotic, and hieroglyphics, the language of the gods. This phenomenological leveling of languages is ultimately read in relation to the comparative gesture of world literature, which levels distinctions between literature and scripture under an emergent paradigm of modern literary reading.

Keywords:   translation, Greek language, decoding, Rosetta Stone, textuality, hieroglyphics, world literature, scripture, reading

Princeton Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.