This article examines how the assemblage between translation and imperialism can assume two radically different guises. For each of the two motifs under consideration, a parallel is drawn with another discourse – philosophical in one instance, literary in the other – with a view to enhancing appreciation of the relevant cultural models. The four cases epitomise one abiding trope, that of the self’s refusal to accommodate alterity, to yield to difference, that of the self’s insistence.
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