Friday, November 13, 2015

Research Seminar: Borrowed Words: Brodsky’s Collaborative Self-Translation

In their Research Seminar Series 2015-16 the Birmingham Centre for Translation offers a lecture on self-translation by Dr Natasha Rulyova (Birmingham) on Tuesday 17 November 2015 1-2pm, Ashley Building, room 121a (Building R17 on the Edgbaston campus map)

Abstract of the talk:
In this paper, I will propose that collaborative translation and self-translation are not mutually exclusive but, in fact, are two sides of the same coin. Independently, each field – collaborative translation and self-translation – has recently started to receive considerable scholarly attention. Self-translation has become a burgeoning subject of research since the 1980s (Grutman 2013; Boyden & De Bleeker 2013; Hokenson & Munson 2007). Collaborative translation is a newer field but has increasingly been gaining pace (Wakabayashi 2011; Cordingley forthcoming 2016). I will show that self-translation can be, in fact, a form of collaborative translation, especially for late bilingual writers who require a certain ‘reprogramming’ from one language to another (Pavlenko 2014, p.168) This process of re-programming is dialogic: bilingual writers do not only start a dialogue with their inner selves in L2 but they are also in dialogue with native speakers of L2 who often become their implicit co-authors. It is in this dialogic process of co-creation, late bilingual writers conduct their self-translation. As my case study, I discuss the work by Joseph Brodsky, a Russian-American Noble Prize winning poet. Brodsky was a late bilingual who arrived in the USA in 1971, having been exiled from the USSR. His early work was translated into English by excellent translators including George Kline, Daniel Weissbort, Alan Myers and others. By the late 1970s, Brodsky started feeling sufficiently confident to intervene in his translators’ work and to self-translate. My study of his manuscripts and correspondence with his translators reveals some fascinating facts about the way in which Brodsky acquired his English-language voice through borrowing, mixing and experimenting, sometimes at the expense of his dedicated translators and friends.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Talk on self-translation at the University of Oregon

Organized by the Translation Studies Working Group (TSWG) at the University of Oregon 
Friday, November 6, 2015, 3-5 p.m. in EMU South Dining West. Free and open to the public. 
  • Brandon Rigby (RL), “Polysemy of the Space Between: Self-translation in Contemporary Transatlantic Bilingual Poetry”

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Update! Bibliography on self-translation

The bibliography on self-translation has been updated.
For any additions, please leave a comment.

To access the pdf-file, please click here.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Katerina Stoykova-Klemer: "Translation can serve as a wonderful editing tool"

Katerina Stoykova-Klemer was born in Bulgaria and moved to the United States in 1995. She has published her poems in a bilingual edition The Air around the Butterfly / Въздухът около пеперудата (2009). She has also translated a wide range of Bulgarian poets into English. On her blog she talks about the experience of self-translating her poetry and choosing the language for a poem. She stresses the quality of translation as an editing tool:
I feel lucky to be using two languages for writing poetry, because translation can serve as a wonderful editing tool. If something doesn’t work in a poem or group of poems, translate it into another language to see what it looks like and to hear what it sounds like with completely different words. It will really make you think about what you wanted to say in the first place. Even if you think your poem is perfect, taking it apart and reassembling it in another language may give you ideas on how to say something differently. Very rarely when I translate my poems do the originals stay intact.
To read her complete blog entry "Writing in two languages" please click here.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Interview with Rolando Hinojosa-Smith on self-translation

The Acentos Review has recently published an interview with Rolando Hinojosa-Smith conducted in 2012 by Marlene Hansen Esplin. Hansen Esplin asks him some very interesting questions about self-translation:

  • Do you think bilingual, multilingual, and/or bi-scriptive writers can be “good” translators of their own texts? Also, what circumstances in the past have prompted you to write in both or either English or Spanish?
  • So, you feel more comfortable translating your own work, obviously, instead of working with someone else’s?
  • Here’s a related question, considering your own “translations,” or the Spanish and English versions of your texts, e.g. Estampas del valle and The Valley, do you hold to the notion of an “original” text and a “translation” when speaking of your literature? How do you view your Spanish and English texts or versions of your texts in relation to each other?
  • Would you advocate that the reader encounter both of the texts or one before the other?
  • Do you feel that in rewriting or self-translating you make “concessions” for the monolingual reader?

To find out Hinojosas answers, please click here

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Zoë Jenny: "I would rather write something new."

Swiss born writer Zoë Jenny, who moved to London and has just switched her literary language to English, was asked about self-translation in a recent interview by New Books in German:

NBG: Would you consider translating your own works into English, or do you feel that has to be done by a third party?
Z.J: I don’t think I would be interested in translating my own work as long I have new ideas for books. I would rather write something new."
To read the full interview please click here .

Monday, July 13, 2015

Conference: Rewritings MHRA Postgraduate and Early Career Conference

Self-translation will be a topic at the Modern Humanities Research Association Postgraduate and Early Career Conference taking place Friday, 16 October 2015 at the Institute of Modern Languages Research, Senate House, London.

  • 3:30 pm Panel 6: Translation as Rewriting (Room G34):
    Magdalena Kampert (Glasgow): ‘Self-translation as a Form of Rewriting: The Case of Janusz Głowacki‘s Antigone in New York
To read the full conference program, please click here.