Translation Memes

Translation Theory Analysis from a Memetics Perspective



Memetics as the cultural counterpart to genetics has provided us with new tools to study the transference and sharing of ideas within or across human communities. The present article is an attempt at working memetics into translation theory analysis. To this aim, the present paper explored some of the ideas from philosophers and translation theorists including George Steiner, Franz Rosenzweig, Paul Ricoeur, and Walter Benjamin in search of some shared strands of ideas forming the core of parts of theorization on translation. Scrutinizing some of the writings of these thinkers, either in the form of prefaces to their own translations or essays on translation, vividly revealed the presence of some basic trends such as sexualizing, or more exactly, effeminizing translation act, and attributing a hypothetical messianic mission to translation. On this basis, a tentative list of translational memes featuring femimeme and messianic meme was suggested. Seeing such common trends as translational memes follows that these trends are capable of transference and replication, a fact that was validated by reference to their vast spatio-temporal and cultural spread, and their common source of origin. The striking similarities found between such translational memes and Jewish mysticism showed that they could be of Kabalistic provenance. The findings indicated that working memetics into translation theory analysis is a worthwhile endeavor.


Ideology, Kabala, Memetics, Translational Memes, Translation Theory Analysis

Author Biography

Mustafa Komeili, Islamic Azad University Birjand Branch

Faculty Member, Department of English, Faculty of Letters and Humanitis, Islamic Azad University, Birjand Branch, Birjand, Iran;


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How to Cite

Komeili, M. (2021). Translation Memes : Translation Theory Analysis from a Memetics Perspective. Iranian Journal of Translation Studies, 18(72), 54–69. Retrieved from



Academic Research Paper