Re: [OPE-L] English translation(s) of 'Darstellung'?

From: Riccardo Bellofiore (riccardo.bellofiore@UNIBG.IT)
Date: Mon Oct 03 2005 - 11:49:07 EDT

Hi Rakesh

As  Geert knows, I do not agree with him on these 
points - or at least our agreement is partial.

Yes, we find both the possession idea and the 
incarnation idea in Marx. I have nothing against 
your "incarnate itself". So I accept your point.

No, to me is not Marx's fault. On the contrary, 
the idea of gallerte, congelation, 
crystallization, even incarnation and embodiment, 
to me is essential in Marxian critical political 
economy. I think that it must be rescued from the 
problematic notion of money as a commodity. And 
it must be firmly put in a monetary labour theory 
of value where money as finance is also the 
antevalidation of labour as activity, asbtraction 
in becoming.

As for the transition issue, etc., I have written 
elsewhere, and unfortunately I am not able to 
make a summary of my things on this in 3 lines as 
easily as I am able to do for that minor thinker 
who is Karl Marx and that so simple book which is 
Capital :-D

However, a short summary is in my paper for Mexico City.


At 8:32 -0700 3-10-2005, Rakesh Bhandari wrote:
>At 3:10 PM +0200 10/3/05, Riccardo Bellofiore wrote:
>>The idea of embodiment, properly speaking, 
>>comes from the fact that the ghost of value 
>>needs to take possession of a body,
>or incarnate itself?
>>which at the beginning of Capital is money as a 
>>commodity, then after this transustantiation it 
>>becomes a vampire, as capital sucking living 
>>labour, and reproducing itself.
>yet there are all kinds of conditions for money 
>to go from means of circulation to a form of 
>capital. The transition does not follow 
>logically as in the development of categories, 
>no? What about John Rosenthal's and Maria 
>Turchetto's critiques in their debate with 
>Michael Williams in Science and Society?
>>In fact these 3 phrases are Capital Volume 1 in a nutshell.
>>English translation of Capital are almost 
>>worthless. In Italian or in French no similar 
>>error happens as those pointed out by Chris.
>>However, I think that he is making things too 
>>easy. There are a lot of places in Capital, 
>>first chapter, in which some idea not far from 
>>embodiment is going on. For sure, there is the 
>>idea of "gallerte", value as gelatine (it does 
>>exist in English) of living labour, congealed 
>>or cristallised in commodities.
>But is this Marx's fault? Is it not true that we 
>handle commodities as if they themselves 
>embodied value, as if value were a property of 
>things, qua commodities? is this not true even 
>if we know through philosophical analysis this 
>to be a fetishism?
>It seems to me that Reuten's critique of Marx 
>for incomplete break with Ricardo misses Marx's 
>point. Of course the break is incomplete in 
>practice; in practice we have to hold on to 
>fetishistic beliefs. Marx is operating within 
>that language to deconstruct and analyze it. 
>There can be no complete breaks in and through 
>philosophical analysis. Hence importance of 
>German Ideology.
>  rb
>>darstellen. The true point is how it is 
>>translated together with erscheinen, scheinen, 
>>ausdrucken, and the consistency of the 
>>translations. So, I would suggest
>>scheinen              to seem
>>erscheinen    to present itself
>>darstellen            to exhibit
>>vorstellen            to represent
>>ausdrucken    to express
>>is OK, but also
>>scheinen              seem
>>erscheinen    appear
>>darstellen            to present there
>>vorstellen            to represent
>>ausdrucken    to express
>>is OK.
>>Or some combination.
>>Say appear would be OK for the first two, but I 
>>would avoid it because it does not discriminate 
>>between false semblace and something which 
>>appears without being false.
>>I am at present unsure about vortsellen.
>>Even representation for darstellung may be OK 
>>(I realised that for  example for the English 
>>speaking people re-presented give strongly the 
>>idea of presenting twice, which is not in 
>>Italian; and that the Italian esporre, which 
>>would be OK for Italian, is not easy for me to 
>>tramslate in English). Delio Cantimori in 
>>Italian translates darstellen as to represent 
>>("rappresentare"), but he is almost always 
>>consistent, so when you read that you 
>>alwaysknow he is talking of darstellung, 
>>Provided the translator is consistent, and 
>>explains clearly in a note at the beginning of 
>>the book the philosophical meaning of these 
>>terms, with reference to Hegel, there are some 
>>alternative possible good translation, no one 
>>being perfect.
>>I agree totally with Chris that darstellung is 
>>something that is not a mere appearance form 
>>of something goning on elsewhere. It is 
>>constitituive of value. As it is the idea of 
>>aus-drucken, which gives the movement from the 
>>inner to the outer.
>>I would not take to represent as an error
>>At 8:36 -0400 3-10-2005, Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM wrote:
>>>[Chris wrote:]
>>>All English translations are defective in offering Oembodiment' as the
>>>translation of 'Darstellung' in the context of Marx's first chapter. Very
>>>occasionally Marx does speak of Oembodied labour', but nearly always the
>>>term is Darstellung. The labour of the worker is Darstellung in the value
>>>of the product, that is, Opresented there'. ORepresentation' is inadequate
>>>here because it suggests a mere appearance form of something going on
>>>elsewhere. But Opresentation' I think avoids this. Value does not just
>>>represent abstract labour, it is the mode in which it becomes socially
>>>objective, i.e. really present. In the same way money is the mode in which
>>>value as universal is presented, not represented as if it already exists
>>>somewhere else.
>>>Hi again Chris,
>>>I'm still think about your comments.
>>>Isn't  "darstellung"  ordinarily and customarily translated into English as
>>>If that is the case, is your point that the common or everyday translation
>>>of "darstellung"  is inadequate as an expression for Marx's meaning in
>>>relationship to value?
>>>In solidarity, Jerry
>>Riccardo Bellofiore
>>Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche
>>"Hyman P. Minsky"
>>UniversitÓ di Bergamo
>>Via dei Caniana 2
>>I-24127 Bergamo, Italy
>>direct          +39-035-2052545
>>secretary    +39-035 2052501
>>fax:    +39 035 2052549

Riccardo Bellofiore
Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche
"Hyman P. Minsky"
UniversitÓ di Bergamo
Via dei Caniana 2
I-24127 Bergamo, Italy
direct    +39-035-2052545
secretary    +39-035 2052501
fax:      +39 035 2052549

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