Walter Benjamin: The Task of the Translator, 1923

Just as a tangent touches a circle lightly and at but one point, with this touch rather than with the point setting the law according to which it is to continue on its straight path to infinity, a translation touches the original lightly and only at the infinitely small point of the sense, thereupon pursuing its own course according to the laws of fidelity in the freedom of linguistic flux.

Benjamin, Walter. “The Task of the Translator: An Introduction to the Translation of Baudelaire’s ‘Tableaux Parisien’.” In Walter Benjamin: Illuminations, edited by Hannah Arendt, translated by Harry Zohn, 69–82. London: Fontana/Collins, 1973[1923].