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Walter Benjamin

Walter Benjamin
Walter Benjamin

Walter Benjamin wrote the justification for The Universal Fairytale in 1939 in an introduction to a translation of Beaudelaire which was later published as The Task of the Translator: “The task of the translator consists in finding that intended effect upon the language into which he is translating which produces in it the echo of the original.”  In the context of The Universal Fairytale, Benjamin’s concept of a successful transmission takes place through culturally relevant transformations of fixed: characters, scenarios and outcomes.  In Henri Pourrat’s version of La Rate Blanche, found in Les Fees, these characters are: The King, The Queen, The White Rat , The Queen of the Faeries, The People of the Kingdom, The Sun, The Cloud, The Wind, The Mountain and finally, The Black or Mountain-Cutter Rat.  When the الفأرة البيضاء was created, this paradigm shifts to accommodate Islamic culture through guises presented by adhering to a common stricture of the Abrahamic Faiths (insert footnote) which prohibits the worship of graven images.  To this end, motifs from Sultan Baybars Qur’an are used to create aniconic characters.  In keeping with the cultural shift, The King and The Queen are then seen as Sultan and Sultana.