The end of absence: Reclaiming what we’ve lost in a world of constant connection
Michael Harris, Current Press, 2014
Harris explores the implications of living an ever-connected world, where we have constant access to the internet. Looking at the physical, psychological and emotional effects of ‘dependence’ on the internet, he explores what he sees as a unique turning point in history, when there are people still alive from the pre-internet age who remember what it was like to live without the internet. He also examines whether it is possible to re-experience that absence by going offline.
What’s all this got to do with translation? Near the end of the book, Harris quotes the work of Noga Arikha, historian of ideas and goes on to say that, “I think Arikha, like all people alive in this moment, is engaged in an act of massive translation. We are the few translators of Before and After. It’s a privileged thing to be a translator, but not an easy thing.
Never a truer word spoken!
An interesting insight a few days before International Translation Day
The book definitely makes for an interesting read.