The Art of Literary Translation: Your Histories, Texts, and Authorial Selves (LIT4319.01)

Marguerite Feitlowitz

It may well be that the closest, most interpretative, and creative reading of a text involves translating it from one language to another. Questions of place, culture, epoch, voice, gender, and rhythm take on new urgency, helping us to deepen our writerly skills and sensibilities. In this course, you will translate a myriad of texts, including works you have written, or are writing, yourselves. You may well translate each other’s texts, and/or work collaboratively. We will expand our experiences of textual immersion and the creative fruits of dissociation—to quote Rimbaud, Je est un autre [I is an other]. How does this “other I” operate when other languages are in play? How does translation affect your authorial memory? the sound and texture of your voice? the sensual qualities of place? the flow and feel of time?

Learning Outcomes:
As you make your own translations, you will think hard about:
* What is meant by the terms "original text," "fidelity to/departure from the original";
* Specific choices concerning vocabulary, voice, rhythm, rhyme, texture, and other literary elements;
* The cultural politics between languages with many speakers and languages with fewer or perilously diminishing speakers;
* The presence and position of the translator themself vis à vis the original, the publishing world, and political ramifications of specific acts of translation;
* How best to launch a new translation into the world.

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites: If you have studied with me before, please send a statement of interest. If you have not taken a class with me, please send a writing sample via this form by November 17. Admitted students will be notified on November 22.
Corequisites: Knowledge of a second language is highly desirable. Students are required to attend all Literature Evenings, Bennington Translates, and Poetry at Bennington events this term, commonly held at 7pm on most Wednesday evenings.
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 4
W 10:00AM - 11:50AM & W 2:10PM - 4:00PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 15
Course Frequency: Once a year

Categories: 4000 , All courses , Cultural Studies and Languages , Four Credit , Fully In-Person , Literature
Tags: , , , , , ,