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Iser, W. (1994) "On translatability", Surfaces, Vol 4.


"This essay addresses the question of translatability as a key concept for understanding encounters between cultures and interactions within cultures. In this view, translatability implies translation of otherness without subsuming it under preconceived notions. In conclusion, this essay proposes a cybernetic model of cultural understanding based on recursive looping."

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What is meant by "a cybernetic model... based on recursive looping?

This brings in areas of mathematical representation. For example the representation of irrational or transcendental numbers. These numbers are not finitely expressable as a series of digits, but some of them can be expressed as recursive functions. These recursive functions are expressed in a abstracted mathematical language.

To what extent are the allowed expressions in a mathematical representation similar and different to the preconceived notions of a cultural representation?

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Created 29/9/98