Starring the Translator! (LIT2406.01)

Marguerite Feitlowitz

The figure of the literary translator has a checkered history—ambassador and traitor, solitary bookworm and cultural heroine, detective and spy, poet par-excellence and self-effacing scribe. Rich, provocative, and rarified, the history and practice of literary translation have given rise to a host of literary works in multiple genres. The star? It’s the literary translator, wrestling in the maze of meaning, politics, self-fashioning, and writing. And sometimes it’s the translation itself—found in a bottle, or a far-flung market, or in a long-lost suitcase, or in a scholar’s library—that instigates tales-within-tales-within-tales, as in Don Quixote, or in poems by Keats and Charles Simic, fictions by Borges and Bolaño. Literary obsession and self-consciousness; the push-and-pull of indebtedness and originality; affinity, resistance and conflict among texts, and among their creators––these considerations will help guide our readings and discussions over the course of this term. In times of political repression, exile, and displacement, translation itself is an essential part of the story, with translators often playing heroic roles to safeguard texts, authors, and publishers. New translations of ancient works have helped refocus, and even re-define cultural canons.Expect to read novels, poems, memoirs, and hybrid-texts from Europe, Latin America, Asia, Africa, and indigenous traditions.

Learning Outcomes:

Delivery Method: Entirely remote (synchronous)
Course Level: 2000-level
Credits: 2
T/F 2:10PM - 4:00PM (1st seven weeks)
Maximum Enrollment: 20
Course Frequency: Every 2-3 years

Categories: All courses , Entirely Remote , Literature