The stranger loops of translation

Responding to Douglas Robinson


  • Kobus Marais University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa



idealism, realism, constructivism, hermeneutics, semiotics


This paper responds to criticism of some of my work by Douglas Robinson. After pointing out some factual problems in his response, I agree with Robinson that my 2014 views on agency and com­plexity can be expanded, and show how I have done so since then. I then engage with the kind of hermeneutics Robinson uses in his response to my work, arguing that it is a contextless, affect-driven hermeneutics that bases too much of its argument on matters of identity. I try to explain what I find problematic with constructivist arguments, and to offer a complexity approach that overcomes the binary between idealism and realism. I also question Robinson’s claim that he needs to ‘correct’ me where I am ‘wrong’, relating this strange loop in his hermeneutics to his own epistemological stance.


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30. 11. 2022




How to Cite

Marais, K. (2022). The stranger loops of translation: Responding to Douglas Robinson. STRIDON: Journal of Studies in Translation and Interpreting, 2(2), 95-110.