I think that Clark Cunningham's article, The Lawyer as Translator, is a wonderful piece of work, full of life and interest and originality. I especially admire: his ability to make vivid to the reader the ways in which languages do truly differ, and differ beyond our efforts to bridge them-as he shows when he imagines an attempt to translate our most common professional terms into Chinese; his recoguition of the kind of force that our languages have over our minds, both as we see the world and as we tell stories about it; his sense that what we think of as "events" are really texts calling for interpretation, and his consciousness that interpretation in turn is a mode of thought by which the practices of our own minds can be made the object of critical attention; his development of the idea that the practice of translation entails an ethic of respect for the difference and equality of persons; and his constant awareness that his own use of language, both as a lawyer in the Johnson case and as a scholar-critic writing about it, is an ethical performance, and one at which he-and in our tum, we-not only can, but in some sense certainly will fail. This last is the most important point, for it is this perception that leads him to see that he must not only say what he thinks about the various issues that come before him, as if he were engaged in a purely intellectual exercise; he recognizes that he will perform his meanings in his writing, whether he likes it or not. It is in his own use of language-and in the relation he thus establishes with the habits of his own mind and with both Dujon Johnson and the reader-that his central terms and values acquire their most important meanings.
White, James Boyd. "Translation as a Mode of Thought." Cornell L. Rev. 77 (1992): 1388-97.