GMO Enviro

Next entry will be devoted to translation as trafficking

This is the next entry.

In her Translator's Preface, Catherine Porter indicates that Avital Ronell had a hand in revising the English-language draft. She "frequently made small changes in the language." I thought these were limited to her part in the interviews collected in Fighting Theory. Turns out that she also tampered with the rendering of the interventions by Anne Dufourmantelle.

It took me a long time to understand why such prohibitions were established, for genetically modified plants, for example. Beyond the fact that they are tampered with (but everything is tampered with, and this has been true for a very long time — in antiquity plants were already being tampered with), why does this cause such anxiety all of a sudden? I finally understood that, if transgenic corn is planted in ordinary soil, the harvest is twice as resistant, and it's certain that no disease will attack it, but the seeds don't reproduce themselves, and the next crop has to be started from newly purchased seed. The plant exhausts the soil and doesn't reproduce itself. Something may be gained, but at what price? When one begins to think about it philosophically, it seems completely terrifying.
"Tampered" is a strange, somewhat mutant, rendering for "trafiquer" which means to trade in. Commerce is the target. Its short-sightedness particularly.
Il m'a fallu longtemps avant de comprendre pourquoi, par exemple pour les plantes transgéniques, de telles interdictions étaient posées. Outre le fait qu'elles soient trafiquées (mais on trafique tout et depuis très longtemps, depuis l'Antiquité on trafique les plantes), pourquoi tout à coup cela soulève une telle angoisse? J'ai fini par comprendre que, si on plante du maïs transgénique dans une terre normale,la récolte est deux fois plus résistante, on est sûr qu'aucune maladie ne l'attaquera, mais les graines ne se reproduisent pas, et on est obligé de tout replanter. La plante épuise le sol et ne se reproduit pas. Si on y gagne quelque chose, c'est à quel prix? Quand on se met à y penser philosophiquement, cela semble tout à fait effrayant.
"Effrayant" also means "dreadful" which in its etymology is indeed close to "terrifying" but also connotes an aesthetic reaction as in "extremely bad, unpleasant, or ugly".

And so for day 1452
04.12.2010