Questão 14 do Concurso Ministério das Relações Exteriores (MRE) - Oficial de Chancelaria - CESPE/CEBRASPE (2023)

Text 1A2-I

       Languages are more to us than systems of thoughttransference. They are invisible garments that drape themselves about our spirit and give a predetermined form to all its symbolic expression. When the expression is of unusual significance, we call it literature. Art is so personal an expression that we do not like to feel that it is bound to predetermined form of any sort. The possibilities of individual expression are infinite, language in particular is the most fluid of mediums. Yet some limitation there must be to this freedom, some resistance of the medium.

       In great art there is the illusion of absolute freedom. The formal restraints imposed by the material are not perceived; it is as though there were a limitless margin of elbow room between the artist’s fullest utilization of form and the most that the material is innately capable of. The artist has intuitively surrendered to the inescapable tyranny of the material, made its brute nature fuse easily with his conception. The material “disappears” precisely because there is nothing in the artist’s conception to indicate that any other material exists. For the time being, he, and we with him, move in the artistic medium as a fish moves in the water, oblivious of the existence of an alien atmosphere. No sooner, however, does the artist transgress the law of his medium than we realize with a start that there is a medium to obey.

          Language is the medium of literature as marble or bronze or clay are the materials of the sculptor. Since every language has its distinctive peculiarities, the innate formal limitations—and possibilities—of one literature are never quite the same as those of another. The literature fashioned out of the form and substance of a language has the color and the texture of its matrix. The literary artist may never be conscious of just how he is hindered or helped or otherwise guided by the matrix, but when it is a question of translating his work into another language, the nature of the original matrix manifests itself at once. All his effects have been calculated, or intuitively felt, with reference to the formal “genius” of his own language; they cannot be carried over without loss or modification. Croce is therefore perfectly right in saying that a work of literary art can never be translated. Nevertheless, literature does get itself translated, sometimes with astonishing adequacy.

Edward Sapir. Language: an introduction to the study of speech. 1921 (adapted)

The word “oblivious”, in the fragment “oblivious of the existence of an alien atmosphere” (fifth sentence of the second paragraph) is being used, in text 1A2-I, with the same meaning as

  • A boded.
  • B spiteful.
  • C surrounded.
  • D unaware.
  • E threatened.