07:20 PM to 10:00 PM W
Section Information for Fall 2019
Tentative Reading List:
This Little Art, Kate Briggs
In Translation: Translators on Their Work and What it Means, Eds. Esther Allen and Susan Bernofsky
The Craft of Translation, Eds. John Biguenet and Rainer Schulte
This course is designed for writers, of both poetry and prose, who would like to develop a work of literary translation. While the “Introduction to Literary Translation” course, also listed as 497/608, focuses on translation theory, translation exercises, and the development of a short translation project, the reading in this polyglot workshop will focus on reading essays on craft, and the majority of class time will be devoted to discussing student work in a workshop setting. Each student will spend the first few weeks of class finding and shaping a project: choosing an author and text, researching the history and context of the work, and defining the scope of their project. Then, as each translation develops, we’ll spend time critiquing sections of the work in a cooperative class conversation. Finally, we’ll talk about how (and whether) to create the other materials, like introductions, translators’ notes, and other notes that might surround a text. We’ll also attempt a few “experimental” or “creative” translations, and hear from several visiting translators, who will discuss their approach to the art and craft of translation.
As Edith Grossman writes in her book, Why Translation Matters, translation “permits us to savor the transformation of the foreign into the familiar and for a brief time to live outside our own skins, our own preconceptions and misconceptions.” The study and practice of translation require a profound engagement with a source text’s culture and language, a nuanced critical reading and interpretation of the source work of literature, and a creative application of all the elements of linguistic possibility in the new language. We’ll approach this art and craft as a vehicle with which to explore the full range of possibilities for meaning-making in language.
Requirement & Prerequisite:
Some competence in a language other than English preferred. There are a variety of types of language fluency that will work for this class. To name a few examples: some may speak another language fluently, but don't read or write it, some have a few years of high-school language, and some can read in a language but not speak it. All of these skill levels have potential for this course. Over the course of the semester, you will develop a translation project appropriate to your language skills and interests. This translation work may end up being an exploration of your relationship to another language. If you’re unsure about your language skills, please contact me.
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