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Belonging in TranslationSolidarity and Migrant Activism in Japan$
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Reiko Shindo

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781529201871

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781529201871.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM POLICY PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.policypress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Policy Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PPSO for personal use.date: 17 May 2022

Untranslatable Community: Toward a Gothic Way of Speaking

Untranslatable Community: Toward a Gothic Way of Speaking

(p.127) 6 Untranslatable Community: Toward a Gothic Way of Speaking
Belonging in Translation

Reiko Shindo

Policy Press

This chapter examines how the various ways of dealing with the mismatch between visibility and audibility help one to imagine a social space centred on the failure of communication, or untranslatability. To do so, it considers the writings of Jean-Luc Nancy, Bonnie Honig, and Slavoj Žižek. Nancy theorises community in relation to failed communication, whereas Honig and Žižek focus on uncertainty as a key affective device to discuss the link between community and unintelligibility. Built on their works, the chapter develops an understanding of belonging centred on a gothic mode of relationality where people relate to one another based on ‘not knowing’ others let alone themselves. Unlike a traditional form of belonging to a community where people search commonality through intelligible communication between the self and the other, the gothic mode of belonging is realised in people's own inability to translate their voice, in the failure to achieve intelligibility.

Keywords:   untranslatability, community, failed communication, uncertainty, unintelligibility, belonging, relationality, Jean-Luc Nancy, Bonnie Honig, Slavoj Žižek

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