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Educação & Realidade

versão impressa ISSN 0100-3143versão On-line ISSN 2175-6236

Educ. Real. vol.41 no.4 Porto Alegre out./dez. 2016  Epub 22-Ago-2016 


Translational Curriculum and Didactics: will, creation, and criticism

Sandra Mara CorazzaI 

IUniversidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Porto Alegre/RS - Brazil


Amid the professors' professional category, the text questions what leads us to educate and to continue educating; what is the political motor and the subjective joy of our profession; what is the work energy that brings vitality to our existences? From the philosophy of difference, and as a result of a research of essayistic-factual content, it is positioned in a Nietzschean perspective of the will to power, consisting of problems about the specificity of the disposition and the impulse of an affirmative, authorial and creative teaching. With the dice game method, it shows, in its relations, a translating curriculum and a didactics of translation, as processes for transcreating civilization, cultures, and ourselves.

Keywords: Curriculum; Didactics; Translation; Research; Difference


Em meio à categoria profissional dos professores, o texto interroga o que nos leva a educar e a prosseguir educando; qual é o motor político e a alegria subjetiva da nossa profissão; qual é a força de trabalho que traz vitalidade às nossas existências? Desde a filosofia da diferença, e como resultado de uma pesquisa de teor ensaístico-factual, posiciona-se na perspectiva nietzschiana da vontade de potência, constituída por problemáticas acerca da especificidade da disposição e do impulso de uma docência afirmativa, autoral e criadora. Com o método do jogo de dados, mostra, em suas relações, um currículo tradutor e uma didática da tradução, como processos transcriadores da civilização, das culturas e de nós próprios.

Palavras-chave: Currículo; Didática; Tradução; Pesquisa; Diferença


It is necessary, therefore, to forgive me a didactic style:

I seek nothing but to assure myself of certain things

(Ponge, 2000, p. 41).

If, amid the professors' professional category, we question what leads us to educate and to continue educating; what is the political motor and the subjective joy of our profession; what is the work energy that brings vitality to our existences; we will be positioned in a perspective that consists of problems about the specificity of the disposition and impulse to educate; that is, in the field of the Nietzschean concept of will to power - Wille Zur Macht - (Nietzsche, 1945; 1986; 2008; Müller-Lauter, 1997; Marton, 2000; 2001).

To know the creative energy of our profession - the will to power of educating -, the philosophy and the research of difference question: why, despite so many and so long-lasting setbacks, do not professors stop entering an incessant combat; now agreeing, now opposing the Government and management obstacles, the precariousness of the financial conditions, the misunderstandings of students and the intolerance of families?

That is, despite many dispositions for the formation of power and despite the repetition of the same ideas and perceptions about the professional condition of professors, we question why does our will to power - that is, the plastic energy to do, produce, effect, form, create education - can do nothing else but increase? Since, as stated by Marton (1997, p. 11), "[...] while efficient energy, the will to power is plastic, creative energy. It is the impulse of effecting all energy and, with that, creating new configurations in relation to the others".

Will to Power

From this perspective, we focus our doing-thinking as an affirmative act, consisting of continuous flows and matter-energy, whose "relation of energy with force is called will" (Deleuze, 1994, p. 22). Conceived as intrinsic artistry, the lives of professors are viewed as movement of experiences and journeys, which are created and create, during the very spaces traversed, expressing the embodiment of the becoming and the possibility of enhancement, transforming themselves. Experiences and journeys that are impregnated with values, in two senses: "[...] value (signification) of each element as a term of a set and value (aesthetic quality) of each element and of the set, as element of a larger set" (Moisés, 1973, p. 95).

This is the will to power that stimulates the events, novelties and the thinking in educational thought, making our profession be lived as poetry and giving it a tragic character, that is, the capacity that we have to politically decide about ourselves as for the vital responsibility of educating. Will that, acting on other wills, consists in internal desire, concerning our being and our doing (Deleuze, 1976); which is conceived as a force of expansion and overcoming of ourselves; which is reinscribed in deeds, while energy of affirmation and creation of more life (instinct, love, passion); and as experimental exercise that, upon being concretized, says yes to life itself as art.

Considering the will, as aesthetic invention not deprived of truth, which creates fictions - among them, the professor, the curriculum, the didactics -, we are able to research to formulate problems about the creative power, that makes us different from that which we are; about its specificities, which lead us to produce nonpetrified ideas and new networks of socialization; about the repercussions of ingrained values and of the update of truths; about the composition of the nonmassified modes of subjectivation; about the differential character of cultural and material goods not yet assimilated.

To put it another way: in insisting on thinking and researching the teaching, beyond the misfortunes and cruelties, which surround our profession, we adopt the point of view of valuing the professor's artistry life; impregnating it with an "[...] artistic character created and produced by the affirmed life and by the surprise suffering in the very commitment that greets and transfigures" (Escobar, 2000, p. 65). The research points in the direction of that force which, at the same time that produces the emergence of the educational novelty, configures the professor's thinking-doing in that which is constitutive to it. Thus, the main struggle of professors is nothing more than a way to seek life; that is, for ever more life.

The work is dedicated to making the will to power of educating appear, in its maximum state of visibility and sayability (Deleuze, 1991); that is, with rigor and precision. To do so, it is necessary to sharpen the researchers' manner of saying and the way of seeing in relation to file extractions (Deleuze, 2015a; Foucault, 2005); making each element operate in its stronger sense, not only toward power, whose nature cannot refrain from increasing; but, especially, in the description of how this increase - as in Nietzsche, read by Klossowski (2000, p. 66) - leads us to delve into the will to power; in the sense of "[...] an intention - a tendency to, toward -, hence, precisely that which, in fact, he [Nietzsche] claims to be only a figment of language".

Even if we know the gap between language and what it cannot reach, between the bridging and the unbridgeable, between translating and the untranslatable - that is, that which belongs to the very order of the real (Rosset, 1998) -, we investigate the professors' will, as if we said, for the first time, the words that make their energy appear (in the physical sense); their impulse (as sensation); their tendency (as eternal return); and their disposition (as quality of concretion). Will to power of educating, which branches and persists, before and beyond the difficulties that Education creates for itself; along with the difficulties that are produced, for it, by the social, political, and financial systems.

High Idea

Considering that the data, obtained by a research of difference, are not a state of fact, but an invention - a point of bifurcation, a mistake in motion, a working of labor that evaluates and interprets -, we appeal to that which has not been interpreted, indifferent to its species, as its specific medium; which, according to Adorno (1992, p. 208), "is the secret figure of all those yet unborn".

Shunting the comments and ideologies, and leaving aside the form of lyrical annotation, as well as the metaphysical affection for definitions, in essaying a few facts about the will to power of educating, we designate the concreteness of the problematizations, formulated by the plastic force of the professors' lives, in the locus of the educational territory, where this force is forged.

This because proposing something of this content, with an essayistic-factual method, in the relation with the words and things of education, seems to be worthwhile, as long as we accept the need to have a high idea, following Valéry (2003, p. 121), in mentioning a statement by the septuagenarian Degas: "We need to have a high idea, not of what you do, but of what can be done one day; without which working is not worthwhile".

Also, due to our own experience of educating, we know that nothing is given and that almost everything is to be built, in the educational domain; we are not supposed to repeat, but to face the obstacles, without accepting the precariousness of the profession and its debased social position - both of which, historically, the real has reproduced, to which it has assigned and subjected us.

Maybe that is the way, as stated by Adorno (2003, p. 157-158), through which we can move toward the desire (never realized) of creating a work "in which are found more power or perfection than those we find in ourselves"; causing this positive goal to remove "[...] indefinitely from us this object that escapes and opposes each of our moments, so that each of our progresses beautifies it and pushes it away".

Emphasizing the process of building the becoming of educating, rather than a ready-made work, we neither deal with reactive forces or resentful complaints nor with subordinate receptivity or vindicative inferiority, which weaken the professors' will of theorizing and writing; of using their fabulating faculties; of having maximum cognitive attention and affective sensitivity towards the several self-creations with which our lives are populated. Thus, instead of accessing any inferiority complex, we value, above all else, "our faculties of construction, of addition of durations, and of transformations by the spirit" (Valéry, 2003, p. 121).

Certainly, it is by means of the desire for that which we can be one day that we let us not be reduced to mere transmitting and receiving apparatus; neither to reflex emitters and instruments for conditionings; conditions that would lead us to domination; to the servility of the old problems accompanied by the ancient solutions; and, even, to the usual and current consensus, which reduces the professors' actions to teaching a class, a curriculum, a content, or a subject - subject, apropos, which our research comprehends as amorphous, non-formed, non-organized, non-concluded; hence, as receptivity to be affected and spontaneity of affecting (Deleuze, 1991; Deleuze; Guattari, 1995).

Thus, we resist against the secondary (and, even, tertiary) positions imputed to us during the history of Education; striving for becoming, increasingly, masters and authors of ourselves; who do not capitulate to facility, to imbecility, or to resignation. Even though a professor's life and teachings, as works of art, are difficult to carry out, the research shows that only the will to power of educating is embodied and exerts pressure against the conditions that merely exist - because this will combines the richness and beauty of a high idea of education.

To Create

Adopting the Adornian proposition of living to create a work with more power than that which, in the present, we find in ourselves, the research shows that the professors' artistries refuse the game of false humanity of professors, in terms of social approval to the very humiliation; they consist in a position that keeps us from becoming stupid; prevent us from being fooled even more; do not make us accomplices or mere witnesses; and, neither, ashamed for who we are and for what we do. This so that - as Adorno (2003, p. 163) finds in the work of Valéry - we can embody "[...] the resistance against the unspeakable pressure exerted on that which is human by that which merely exists"; because it is always "better to perish seeking the impossible".

Without wishing to confuse arguments or formulations, and at the risk of the research reported here being accused of overestimating the art - to the extent of being interpreted as a hagiographic readwriting (reading-writing) of some abstract life of a disembodied professor-artist -, we demonstrated that it is the translator-professor the bearer of the will to power that is creatively transported, transposed, and transferred into curriculum and into didactics; at the same time that is combined into a collective social subject, intrinsically endowed with affirmative life.

Through this will to free spirits, we can be proud of the professors' actions and desires, creating, with our profession, an artistic work, which is established as an effect of real (Barthes, 2004). Amid the reality that does not exist yet, we invest research efforts, we make teaching and instruction constancy, we rehearse readwriting experiments, we conduct continuous exercises to think - carrying with us a chest, whose treasures we do not know fully yet.

Because the research conceives the professors' doing-thinking as unusual territories, that cannot be integrated, in errancy, forever deterritorialized, we problematize the singular chance and the differences themselves, transfiguring the curriculum spaces, images, and signs (EIS); as well as the didactic action, composed of authors, children, curricula, and educators themselves (AICE), while creative works (Corazza, 2013).

Unable to remove the matters from time and from thinking about the thought and, much less, to naturalize or mystify them, the research values the productive, inventive, and decentralizing force of the teaching, which is established in the untimely nature of its futuritive translation actions; in its historic struggles against the crimes; in its resistance against educational negligence and social disasters. Thus, the thought passes from the professors' fatum (fate) to its precipitation into beauty (the fati love); and addresses the will to power of educating allied to the fiction, to express the vivarium of its questions and actions.

For the research, a translating curriculum and a didactics of translation are not only one more thought about the curriculum and didactics; but the concrete embodiment of the professors' will and their ethics desirous to live with chaos and its becomings: "Living - this means, to us, continually transform into light and flame everything we are, and also everything that affects us; we cannot act otherwise" (Nietzsche, 2001, p. 13). Let us see how this light and flame create, invent, produce, represent, express themselves (Moisés, 2006), through the data of an essayist-factual research.

It is Already Translating

We have written about translation, without integrating the field of translation. That is because, as professors, we spent a long time believing that translation does not concern us; except, at least, as consumers, glossators, imitators, and transmitters of its results; or, at most, as producers of translations from one language to another.

It was necessary to reach this 21st century and the refutations and contestations, made possible by drifts of the thought called poststructuralist, postcritical, postmodern, postutopian, postmetaphysical - or "[...] 'a prior to being' (since we have no other concept of being but that which metaphysics bequeathed us)" (Pardo, 2006, p. 122) -, to assume that our creative power, as professors, is to translate, transcreating (apud Tápia; Nóbrega, 2013).

As every word in the world is already translating (Paz, 1981) and all translation opens, to the words and to the world, new possibilities of existence, the research demonstrates that the paramount task of professors is, ultimately, translating, inventively, life itself, considered a process of creation (Villani, 1999). Based on results, we argue that both the didactic actions and the production of a curriculum consist in translating acts, which happen in time-spaces that are irreducible among themselves; although the two lines of translation, despite their specificities, reconvene at various points of the educational process.

As no truth is evident by itself and no axiom is undisputed, to reach this factual point - with its archipelagoes of philosophical, literary and educational figures, constellations of fictitious lineages and problems -, the research problematizes: what is an act of curriculum or didactic creation? When do we have an idea of didactics and of curriculum? How do their conception occur? Do we collect data to design them? From what types of files are such data extracted? How do we read and write a didactics and a curriculum? Can a curriculum and a didactics be more or less creative, fictional, imaginary, logical, real? When we design them, do we build possible worlds? What are the intellectual, social and cultural limits of the didactic and curricular translations?

Despite the failures, disruptions and speculative breaks, the research indicates that the correlations between the curricular and didactic translation occur as follows: to constitute a curriculum, we, professors - if this task is not assigned to others, such as the State, the Government, the University, the book industry -, capture portions of cultures; apprehend leaps of significations of subjects and make nodes of the lines of disciplines; staunch outfluxes of tradition; fix parts of science, art and philosophy (Deleuze; Guattari, 1992); choose and inflect authors, texts, works, contents, forms, signs - worldly, sensitive, loving, artistic (Deleuze, 1987) -; we value subjectivities and ideas, techniques and instruments, truths and certainties. With the curriculum translated, we end up forming a logos; that is, we assign a logic to the set thus configured, a logic expressed in a system, structure, sequence, order, formative principles, intelligible fundaments.

However, the plastic force of teaching does not stop there; because, in continuing educating, right after translating, in a curricular manner, we shift this translational result to the class setting - which is always dramatic, as, there, the humans' differential quality is addressed. In moving, now, didactically, the curricular translations, formerly effected, are laid out in the time of their circulation, updating, and recreation - which is the open time of the contemporary, conceived as transmission and detachment; that is, we once again translate the subjects belonging to the curriculum, no longer logically, but dramatically; that is, in a human manner, all too human (Nietzsche, 2000).

Therefore, in classes, didactic translations force the cycle to start anew; while a new curricular logos is gradually processed; as the existing curriculum will be, slowly, replaced by the results of the didactic translations; until these results are, again, captured in a new curriculum; which will, once again, be moved in other didactic contexts. From these contexts and from the curricular logos, the new translations - of tradition and cultures, disciplines and values, truths and subjectivities - spread again in the socius, and everything reinitiates. This cycle demarcates the civilizing value of the translations carried out by professors.

Interpretive Act

Though many intended us to believe and practice our profession in impotent attitude; although, in our training, we have received a mystique of submission; although we have been subjected, as dependents and tributaries of authors, books, sources; from the thought of difference, the act of educating is never considered a passive reception nor an ethereal transmission; but, precisely, a critical outburst of the new, in the sense of Derrida (1996, p. 2): "[...] the responsibility of critical thinking is also in calculating a precise outburst: we must say that which we believe should not be said".

The ethical responsibility, which we assume to educate, could not refrain from being that outburst, since we exercise the profession in a human relational space, imbedded with inheritance, with the baggage, with the spectra of the generations, with the tradition - "tradition is something open. It cannot be left to the sedentary custody of academic curators, without the creative action's keen perception" (Campos, 1968, p. 65). Relational space, formed by the ways in which we receive the elements we inherit; as, in translating them, we radiate them, modify their importance, attribute senses, extract signification, deconstruct them and transform them into new signs and images.

With a transcreating act, educating is not reduced to shifting - from a place, from a source, from someone to someone else - a thought, a knowledge, a content, a form, or a subject, as if they were things. Educating is a vital processing, which reinterprets - in terms of language and silences, policies and cultures, social values and temporal facts - that which is, in turn, produced in areas as broad as those that Deleuze and Guattari (1992) named the three Chaoids or daughters of Chaos: science, art, and philosophy.

Therefore, educating implies interpretations - in the Nietzschean sense (Azeredo; Júnior, 2012) -, that are active and critical; which multiply and differentiate versions, around innovative operations; affect the set of accepted senses and of the majority cultures; they refer to affirming, to producing, and to creating.

From this interpretive point of view - which, according to Deleuze (2015b, p. 206), does not mean to convey what a philosopher meant, but present his/her "conceptual creations and draw the lines that go from one concept to another" -, we understand why the prospect of translating education annihilates all notion of essence and fundament; emphasizing that there is no place for ascetic repetition, be it of contents, disciplines, or subjects.

To educate is to translate not in one direction, but, at least, in the three directions pointed by Jakobson (2001), namely: intralinguistically, when we translate within a same language according to sexes, ages, regions, educational levels, social skills; intersemiotically, when we recreate the painting, the reading, the writing, and turn the physical form into discourse or vice versa, changing the subject matters from a medium or support to another one; interlinguistically, from one language to another, when we consider that the arts, the philosophies, and the sciences are produced by other languages, which we transcreate (with our students), in the languages of the curriculum and of the didactics.

The educational action and thinking mean nothing, previously, but consist in translating capability of what is curricularization and didactization; through which they acquire a nature which is built from criticism and creation. However, criticism and creation of what? Criticism of the perverse functioning of world and of existences; of the type and style of work, that hurts and humiliates; of the identity facades, that tame the desires; of the dogmatism of the thought in Education; of the University and school orthodoxy; of the hegemonic moral of the affections; of the repetition of comments, in seeking fidelity to the true meaning of texts and authors; of the erudition and of the theories that have not been reassessed.

Paradoxes of Translation

For research, the existence of something such as the translation curriculum, the translation didactics, or the translation professor are not evident. To begin with, they have no existence, as the stone, the sun, or the dog; hence, they cannot be objects or beings derived from a sensitive certainty. Although, neither are they things that can be induced, as the planetary system, for example, through the effects caused on the orbits of the other bodies.

The translation professor, didactics and curriculum consist in a determination of thought, which affects natural phenomena, such as behaviors and modes of acting, feeling, and researching. They are, therefore, objective and factual determinations, that affect the very knower of this translational condition of education, in his/her subjectivity of professor-researcher.

Considering that this has not little importance in how we value and interpret what we do and say, as professors, we emphasize that, although this makes some sense, we need to examine, if not some problems, some paradoxes of the translatory process, along with Haroldo de Campos (apud Tápia; Nóbrega, 2013), when he states (quoting Albrecht Fabris), in his seminal text on the theory of transcreating translation: "The place of translation would be, thus, 'the discrepancy between the said and the unsaid'".

This is one of the paradoxes of translation, divided between being creation and being interpretation; and, in both lines, translation is seen as possibility of creating variations in relation to the original. When this attitude becomes extreme - due to dissonance between that said by the initial subject matter and that said by the final subject matter -, translation becomes an adventure of risk; leading professors to operate with the subjects, with which they deal, also, in the deficiency of their sentences and in their non-language.

As a result, our task is that of anti-illusionists, revealing the artifices of creation, as interpreters of art, science, and philosophy. As well as the actors, we appear before the characters that fit us, in the light of the theory of paradox of comedian Diderot (2006), namely: as those who are others (translators), being we ourselves (professors); condition that leads us, too, to create doubles of the subjects translated, which are others, but have to continue being the same, without losing their condition as something created; to maintain, as enumerates Ponge (apud Motta, 1997, p. 139), "[...] the resistance of the monuments: Egyptian sarcophagi, Greek columns, Etruscan vases, Roman tomb inscriptions, lyre strings".

To put it another way: as interpreters and critics of human heritage, we are crossed by the paradox of being professors who are also translators, continuing to be professors; in addition to shifting subjects that, while updated, are renewed; but have to keep being subjects created by others, in other times, spaces, problematics. These dilemmas populate the act of creation of those who educate; because, if, on the one hand, the translation should keep being linked to the source material and, thus, keep, to some degree, its equivalence of code or of meaning; for this subject to be revitalized, the translation must transcreate it, because it cannot refrain from doing so.

Supposedly divided between creative translation and critical interpretation, in the process of giving new life to that which has already been created, in areas considered original, we experiment with cross-cultural variations, through inflections, deletions, selections, highlights, complexifications, facilitations, maintenance of style, rehashes of pattern. Our translatory task consists in a parallel game, which considers linguistics and semantics; mode of construction of meanings; thematic currents of each area, discipline, level of education; space-temporal dynamics and global structuration of each creation.

In addition to populating the curricular and didactic domain, which is trans-historical, the subject matters, resulting from professors' translations, are always critical; since they express a form of interpretation of authors, texts, ideas, epistemés. As professors-translators, we reread and rewrite the existing, through a critical attitude, which requires comprehension and overcoming of the original materials, reading and writing between the lines; paying attention to less-transparent singularities; decomposing them from outside to recompose them from inside - inside which is coextensive to the outside (which can be called time).

Although, from a distant point of view, the translation practices, which result in the form-curriculum and form-didactics, are considered second-degree operations - and, hence, hierarchized as inferior, as they are contingent that something has previously been created to be effective -, when the research shifts this inflection of angle and conceptualizes such operations as critical interpretations, translating becomes conducting the best possible reading and the best possible writing of a plan of thought (philosophy), of composition (art), and of reference (science) (Deleuze; Guattari, 1992).

Translations become, then, transcreating operations, in producing, in the curricula and in the class didactics, something new and differentiated, albeit parallel to that which has already been created: Bible, the Divine Comedy (Dante), French Encyclopedia, Madame Bovary (Flaubert), Coup de Dés (Mallarmé), Chants (Lautréamont), Ébauche d'un serpent (Valéry), The philosophy of composition (Poe), Flowers of evil (Baudelaire), Hamlet (Shakespeare), Interpretation of dreams (Freud), Ulysses (Joyce), Crime and punishment (Dostoevsky), A Christmas Carol (Dickens), Theory of Relativity (Einstein), Heliocentric Model, Genetic Epistemology (Piaget), Frankfurt School, Existentialism, Avogrado principle, Party of things (Sponge), Line (Mondrian), Las Meninas (Velázquez), Los Caprichos (Goya), yellow (Van Gogh), cinema (Hitchcock), class struggle (Marx), concept of transcendental (Kant), Pli selon pli (Boulez), four operations, Cartesian method, atomic mass, witch's broom, noun and adjective etc.

Life in Piece

In the same way that in music, we - professors-translators-interpreters - give life to each piece or theme, previously written and executed, in recreating their particularities and problematics; providing them with other contents and forms; arranging them in the curriculum or teaching setting - even paying attention to the patterns and codes of the original creation. Thereof comes the need to study and research each and every curriculum and didactics, that we must update, to examine how and to what extent their readings and writings already made differ among themselves, so we do not make the same translation operations.

The research shows that there are degrees of greater or lesser inventiveness or literality, depending on the level of relationship of each professor with the subject that he or she translates; that is, how it is considered (wonder, respect, love) and worked with: in a manner more or less untouchable, sacred or canonical; magnifier, intellectual stature, political obsession; subject to improvisations, subjected to necessities; open or closed sense; medicine or poison.

These desiring dispositions and intensive movements towards the subject matter translated lead us to have each and every curriculum and didactics, while more or less ready or produced inventively; directly or indirectly transposed to what we call reality of school or of Education - reality which, in fact, is also the result of some translation. Therefore, it is important we do not lose sight of the fact that, in educating, translating, we are using an interpretative device; which, when used, prevents ourselves from not being the same we were, before the movements and shifts.

In updating the curriculum subjects, in the didactic spaces-times, we force them to remain in themselves, as results of creations; even if, regardless, we impose their integration to this century, class, school, neighborhood, city, state, country. These translatory movements, which occur in double, carried out by doubles (which are us), lead the research to clarify some kind of genetic system of construction of such curriculum or of such didactics.

The main operations are made to deconstruct the logocentric, modelling and compact role of the source subjects to be translated, struggling against their powers of seduction, of involvement and authority; as well as in the deconstruction of our secondary and dependent function as professors. To this end, we must know each subject matter, to apprehend the inapprehensible that lies therein; combined with the where and the for whom it is updated; so that it is possible to allow for, translations, to be equivalent to the originals, greater or lesser accuracy, vagueness, dark spots, or the addition of a large amount of new subject matter.

The less the professor work is limited to fixed rules and, the more sensitive it remains to the movements of the formless (Valéry, 2003) - not yet rebuilt by rational operations -, the more willing we will be to the invention of new forms. Each translation breaks, in several levels, the rules, by which such subjects were created; so that, during the translatory process, the more we interpret and criticize them, diverting them from the initial project, the greater the risk of detachment and the greater the possibility of differential creation of subjects.

Equivalence and parallelism on the one hand, replacement and creation on the other hand, this is the ambivalence of our professional experience. A complex game of tension and balance, in which there is no winner, except the renewal of the world, the revitalization of the civilizing process, and the reinvention of the existences (ours and others'). Risky game, formed of transpositions and ruptures of the ellipses that in the subject matters remain. A game played on a board, located between the dead letter of each subject (which carries supposed senses) and its novel letter, conflicted and endowed with originality.

With varying intensities and degrees of literalness and of creation, translation operations are similar to a dice game, in which the rules are continually created and evaluated, as Zarathustra: "If someday in the divine table of the Earth, I played dice with gods, to such an extent that the Earth shook and cracked and spewed torrents of fire" (Nietzsche, 1986, p. 235); thus, our work to educate is, always, a bold work in progress, a work in process, as a work of art, which assumes continuous variations and challenges.

Risks in Limbo

Living in a kind of limbo, in which "a word is an abyss without end" (Valéry, 1991, p. 63) - we, as all translators, are exposed to the risks of those who populate a non-place; in addition to establishing, with the initial subjects, a non-relationship which, at the same time, pulls and pushes, welcomes and betrays, holds and releases, engages and disengages. Because, only oscillating between love and hate towards the petrous senses of each of the subjects we translate, we can extract the most admirable pleasure from our profession: transcreating the subjects that have already been designated, classified, assigned a sense or a form.

In this undecidable space-time (Derrida, 2002), in the midst of relational games and the profusion of human effects, we face the risk of translating a subject matter, detached from the original to such extent, that it no longer holds, in itself, the possibility of being identified by its own value of creation; and, hence, no longer has the intrinsic (creative) condition of being revitalized by the curricular and didactical translations.

To minimize these threats and provide us with some precautions of prudence, we use, as a criterion for the translational success of subject matter, its greater or lesser vitality; its more or less parallel contours; its popularization or erudition; its usefulness to make contemporary that which, if not due to the translations, would integrate a tanathographic order.

Only the meticulous work of curricular acts and didactic procedures, in the sense of a genetic evaluation of every translation conducted, can determine the productive immanence of the results, in terms of a particular interpreting perspective and subject; controllable repertoire of words; degree of connotation and denotation; functionality and adaptation; semantic universe, rude language and grotesque images; sudden cuts and rhythmic schemes; roughnesses, difficulties and ubiquities.

Therefore, there is no definitive translation; and, every time one is carried out, we need to compare it, with specific criteria, with the translations that overlap or complement each other, examining their level of interest and importance, in addition to how remarkable they become. The possible congeniality between the source subject and its translation may be more or less clear and conscious; burlesque and untouchable; precise and conventional; accurate and overshadowed; closed and strangeable; syllogistic and universal; multiple and edenic; exorcised and glued to the original; luciferin and extravagant; dramatic and mythic; disturbing and full of certainties.

To choose the correlate type of emphasis and of movements adequate to each translatory act, we need, also, assess what is the purpose of that translation: if mere information; interpretative radicalism; specification of meaning, form and linguistic effectiveness; indication of tonality of set, without expenditure of parts; high degree of readability; nobility, vulgarity, facilitation and sophistication; intermediation between two or more codes or independence; work in lieu of the original or mediate access to it.

A marked translational deviation, sometimes, ends up not relating the translation to the original set, whose update interests us; inasmuch as this set can be dismembered and cease to exist as such, losing momentum the functional significance of its ideas. For this reason, the mode of expression and the form of content (Deleuze, 1991) of a translated curricular or didactic subject require having their voices modulated: so what they say is never annulled and never annul the original voice.

Revitalization of tradition, through translation, is a delicate and incomplete operation which, not rarely, is defective. Our primary care resides in making objective the initial subject matter; without refraining from relating it to the other subject matters translated; and, much less, with the social and cultural world. The point here is, again, to support strained relations, without the provision of a skeleton key or a metronome, which could be employed for all translation operations. Micro and macro relations between the initial and final subject matters constitute the fatality of our profession; and, at the same time, consist in the richest opportunity for us to leave our mark and signature as authors.

In fact, the respect (and even the passion) for the original material requires, from us, admiration and aggressiveness; harshness and gentleness; knowledge of previous translations and choice of a point in the galaxy, in which to situate the translation effected. Lacks value the use of an attitude of spontaneity or of an armor, considering the translation of the subjects; on the contrary, we need to develop a competent sagesse (wisdom), which resorts to all resources available, in each contemporary mode of being, living, and educating. By virtue of their sonority, significance or vitality, the effects (lexical, imagetic, epistemological) of the translated subjects can be appraised by the lightness of their words, ability of not making them heavy, not making them wrinkled, nor making them wither.

As Nodes

The variations experienced by the various curricular and didactical translations, consisting of associations between the original material and its doubles, lead each one beyond its creation time and beyond the time of its translation. In these transpositions, even if the original value has declined or been lost, during the course of the translations performed, the translatory reading and writing constitute a level that is more than linguistic; that is, a level of critical interpretation.

In view of this, our translations are faithful inhabitants of limits, through allusions and direct inquiries; acidic and foul translations with the legacy; constitution of an artificial corpus, consisting of jargons and supercodes of the subjects. Seeking hidden significations or aware that there is nothing behind the curtain (be it a loving prison, be it a hypothetical rival), the professors live looking for a delicate balance between these positions, making them intertwine.

Understood as a reading and writing tekné, the result of each translation corresponds and does not correspond to the original, being configured by: relations between languages, idioms, symbols, images, verbal, non-verbal and mixed media; second and third senses; antiphrases and effects of subject; biographematic and vidarbos (lives-works); hidden anagrams and pictographemes; prose and poetry; photography and painting; installation and sculpture; performance and Italian stage.

The following operators integrate our arsenal of choices and decisions: the incisiveness of the original material and its truncations; poetic options, philosophical questions and lessons learned from various codes; verbal artifices, contexts of yore and supra-historical time; current reading and encrypted references; plausibility of the linguistic-formal interpretation and aesthetic value of the set; imitation, theft and audacity; disqualification and misery of previous translations; use of irony and warnings; reproblematization and obliteration of creative nature; and so on.

To consider the impacts from curricular and didactic translations, we can also use the following indicators: does the subject matter translated become dramatic, tragic? Realistic, idealizing? Concrete (private), abstract (generic)? Materialist, spiritographic? Objective, subjective? Conscious, unconscious? Clear, elliptical? Historical, nostalgic? Progressive, reactionary? Genealogical, mystifying? Technical-linguistic, critical-interpretive? Complementing, opposite to the initial subject matter? Parallel to the original, regardless of the discussion? Same tone and atmosphere? Substitutionary variation of the original? Mélange, linguistic combination? Creative richness of the source matter? Speaks the source language, own language? Target matter carries that which the original meant in its time-space, added with contemporary elements?

Perhaps we can define our task as follows: we are professors-translators, not with a (initial) subject nor with a (final) one; between a (source) subject and (target) one; now with a (original) subject, now with a (translated) one. Because translating, educationally, in contemporaneity, as interpretation of the original subjects, is also carrying out the criticism and the creation of the forms of knowing, power relations and modes of subjectivation; which reveal the most alive part of Earth. As nodes.

Faithful in Difference

On the interpretation and criticism of the original subjects depend not only the efficacy (always relative), but the very survival of the authors, works, texts, ideas, contents, themes, values, laws, codes, semiotics, cultures. Because of this responsibility, we, professors, we keep wondering; that is, being faithful in difference, in saying the same thing and something else; seeking the most flexible, far from the specificity of words; inhabiting the territory between repetition and creation; performing provisional movements and resuming them; untangling puzzles and chaining problems; combining objective research and subjective observance.

Many times, it is extremely difficult to bring, to the curriculum and didactics, any subject that no longer presents apparent importance, is changing and mutable, or considered outdated. Even if seemingly utopian, the function of translation overcomes the simple effect of communication and response; to understand each subject in its pure difference and interpret it, in that which concerns ourselves, as inheritors of its science, art, or philosophy - subject that remains and insists on us; acquires value by itself; processes a different vitalism, made of ruptures, marginalities, and proliferations.

Benjamin (apud Branco, 2008) states that the task of the translator is to transmit, inaccurately, an unessential content; insofar as translation is a form - that makes itself desirable; becomes differential in repeating itself; and, thus, survives as a form. Thus, to translate, in some situations, we must reduce the rationality of interpretation, abstraction of comprehensibility, the linguistic, semantic, and ideological arrangements; in others, we need to invent with more vigor and determination, in the artistic, scientific, or philosophical domains, to approach the original subject.

It turns out that every translation is intended to be extemporaneous (out, against time and in favor of a time to come), in producing a language that is no longer the original (in its historical relativity); nor that of current daily life (neither past nor present language); but a plethora of senses, a versatility or polysemy, as language of imagination, which causes mutations of vision and perception - or, in a Valéryan expression, language made of words that express the feeling of universe.

Both in its interior translational process and in its mode of execution and exterior form circulation, a professor's translation is cunningly inventive. As a result, its results are stripped of historical weight and presented as an event, an idea, an image, a timeless body. Through its producers and participants, some subjects transcend barriers of place, language code, community sense, scenic symbolism - willingly pending between voice and thought, presence and absence, life and death.

Thus, more than subjects, our translatory goals are formed by transcreations of: scenes, topos, tropes, rhetoric; power of language, lexical accumulation, sets of associations, concrete evocations; symbolic nodes, associated metaphors, amalgams of terms; inversions of locus, function of construction; leaps and cycles, returns and parallels; repercussions from past centuries, futuristic visions; ideas and modes of thought; automatisms, things and bodies; discontinuous times, antithetical interests; syntactical and verbal repertoire; imagistic extensions of the words.

The translation of the subjects, therefore, is not a shadow of some source or copy of any original; but an active development that, at the same time, denies and affirms that from which, supposedly, it derives: "Actually what happens is that it affirms its Hamletian question: it is either suicidal, eliminating itself when eliminating the life of the text, or assassin of the original text when affirming its own life" (Leite, 1995, p. 43). If it is presented as an assassin translation, there is the risk of losing the identity, making the subject discontinuous; if it is a suicidal translation, it also will not affirm anything of interest to the creative continuity.

This pendular oscillation, which is characteristic of the professor's profession, leads our translations, on the one hand, to expand the words and revitalize the world; however, on the other hand, it can make them approach the back-and-forth of accuracy or bureaucratization, which best expresses a violation to the inventive character of teaching. Anyway, even iconoclast or predatory, no translation can be faithful; since the translational act highlights the respective languages and the conditions under which the subjects were produced, belying their supposed prosaic and conventional nature.

For this reason, the research points out that professors' favorite translations always have poetic content, as they preserve something of the original, as an absolute, at most, aesthetic. And, as stated by Benjamin (apud Branco, 2008), between two languages, translators intend a third language, or pure language, our translations are productive profanations of the subjects; as the materiality of the curriculum and didactics, as well as the mechanics of their processes, imply a teaching with artistic aura.

Intellectual Work

It would be obvious to point out the problems and difficulties of translation, given the arbitrariness of the languages, in terms of the transparency of the original or of the utopian character of the postulation of appropriateness of interlanguage translations (Barthes, 1989). Much is written, in prefaces, presentations, introductions, by translators themselves; and, in these spaces, they often comment on the work they translated; show its blind spots, which serve as obstacles; or they make a presentation or apology of the solutions found. In presenting his translation, to Portuguese, of the book Metaphilosophy (prolegomena) by Henri Lefebvre, Corbisier (1967, p. 1) states that the work "[...] of transposing from one language to another, a written text, presents with difficulties, as problems are presented in any type of intellectual work".

Following this position, the research establishes the translations made by professors as a real intellectual work, constituted by the following tribulations and torments: refuge of semanticity; neutrality of forms; stable significant contents; convenience between the representative and the represented; consonant articulations of the words with the context; external validity criteria; imitative harmony; verification of imperfection; symmetrical equivalencies; framework of correspondences between sounds and meanings, letters and syllable sequences; names that obey the law of things.

However, no matter how bleak it is any difficulty to translate any subject, none can be taken as insoluble; to the extent that the responsibility of professors, about the solutions created, at that time and in that situation, is involved in the ethical project of a teaching, understood as translatory. Hence, the point is not about announcing (nor practicing) the infeasibility of a translation; because this is what, in educating, we are achieving: translating.

If translations were impossible, how could anyone read all texts and study all subjects, in their original languages and forms? The professors' intellectual work involves, by its very nature, the translatability; therefore, when we propose to teach, learn, and research, we are not facing irreducible subjects that are unconvertable into one other, nor completely heterogeneous domains, neither impenetrable cultural worlds - which, if they were so, would tend to disappear, for being elusive.

On the contrary, in educating, translating, we assume that the alleged impossibilities and betrayals of a translator-traitor (traddutore-tradditore in Italian pun) are, instead, due to inaccuracies and obscurities of the original subjects (ideas, systems, functions); or to the limitations of the professors themselves, whose skills and experience regarding the initial subjects (philosophical, artistic, and scientific) and the final ones (curricular and didactic subjects) may, also, be not in a state of sufficient and productive parallelism.

Even if Babel is synonymous with confusion, beyond the universal mismatch among subjects and languages, in case a professor lacks equivalent words or images to translate, a syndrome of lack of authorship may occur; also, because, sometimes, of a reverential awe regarding the initial subject, "not daring to create or fabricate the words that would be needed to accomplish the work" (Corbisier, 1967, p. 3). This is the core problem to our research: that professors abdicate their own power of creation and give up being artists of the words and of the subjects, by virtue of the impossibility of translating.

In fact, there would be no justification for this fear or inhibition; since the discourses, languages, grammars, dictionaries, rules, are not definite by nature, nor express a truth in themselves; but consist in living and open organisms, suffering changes and ruptures - precisely because of the update performed by the curricular and didactic translations.

While complements and supplements to the source subjects - which allow their alchemical resurgence -, in being stirred by teaching, some subjects transform, disfigure, change their signification, are expelled, decomposed, incremented, eased, imported, displaced, distorted; while other subjects are fabricated, rejuvenate, transfigure and remain materially alive as things and operating as words.

Competent artists, at the same time fearful and proud, there is no reason why professors should hesitate or cower before the peculiar position of intellectual inventors; authorial position, which requires that we create on and with that which has already been created, such as: raw materials, machinery and tools, science and technology, ideas and cultures, words and neologisms, systems and worldviews, ways of studying and doctrines, beliefs and militances, theories and concepts, ways of living and participations, perspectives, and ideals.

Thereby, the curricular and didactical translations enunciate a radical critical requirement, irreducible to any doctrine or system, as pure explosion of the will to power of the teaching spirit, in the words of Valéry (1996; 1997): "The spirit is the maximum possibility - and the maximum capacity for incoherence" (Valéry, 2009, p. 71).

Dignified and Fair

To prove dignified and fair towards our profession, the research sees as inevitable evoking an educational action-thinking, in an extremely creative and free manner, except through this image of professors-translators. Image, which implies not the repetition of the subjects, but the direction towards which our quotations, explanations, procedures - by the very fact of being selected, operationalized, expressed - modify and mobilize the sense of the world, which previously did not exist.

That is why, when we translate, we do not repeat senses and expressions (even strong and legitimized), that are assigned to some author or text by commentators - although these are contained in the subjects and, under their authority and signature, hold the measure of something created. Even though, when translating, we employ a language consisting of words and senses conducting the initial subject, our teaching will always remain innocent and honest; as long as, as a parallel expression, it preserves and renews them.

The curricular and didactical translation is, thus, this transcreating process, driven by the professors' will to power, in which we participate collectively; and, yet, an act of bravery, accomplished, by each one, in a unique, individual manner. In the same acting-thinking, we are producers and participants, who are conspicuous by their absence; as, when translating, rather than imposing what must be read and understood in the subjects, we avoid that these coagulate and lead to sclerosis in systems, schools, institutionalizations.

From this translatory perspective, educating consists in a limit-experience according to Blanchot (2007, p. 185), that is:

The limit-experience is the answer found by man when decided to put oneself radically in question. This decision that compromises every being expresses the impossibility of ever resigning to any consolation or any truth whatsoever, nor to the interests or to the results of the action, nor to the certainties of knowledge and belief.

In other words, when the research indicates the act of translating, as the major point of our profession, while exercise of creative artistry, perhaps we can use this understanding as a driving force, to live the limit-experience of affecting the political and social life, out of the history of an attributed secondary minority (Foucault, 2005).

Thus, operating with a translational curriculum and with a translational didactics would serve to transform the dogmatic discourse of dependence of professors, which limits the development of educational theory on professor training that is autonomously creative; as well as to allow transdisciplinary contributions and approaches, which would break with the impasse of archaic notions and of stale terms.

In relying on the experiment of this essayist-factual research, the professors' intellectual work, conceived as a transcreating translational process, offers its dice game method - antagonistic to the reactionary modes of thinking about the profession, which dominate the assumptions about the professor's debased image. And, finally, it indicates that both this work and this text, which addresses it, are, in themselves, limits-experiments that translate the will to power of educating - here, conducted in didactic style.


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Received: August 31, 2015; Accepted: October 23, 2015

Sandra Mara Corazza is Professor of the Department of Teaching and Curriculum and of the Graduate Program of the School of Education, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, and Researcher of the CNPq. E-mail:

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