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David Callahan (University of Aveiro, Portugal)

Translating the Modern: Spanish Poetry and the English Literary World 1918-1939

The poetic generation of the 1920s in Spain is thought to be the centre of the so-called second golden age of Spanish literature. The post first world war period in Britain was a period of greater openness on the part of the literary world to writing from Europe, in an attempt to overcome some of the jingoism and Edwardian smugness of the war and the period leading up to it. This paper would examine the contexts in the London literary world between the wars which facilitated, or hindered, translations of contemporary poetry from Spain. Such translations faced the historical obstacle of Spain's not being considered as a site of the modern, constructed through triumphant Protestantism or Romantic stereotypes in terms of the backward and/or the picturesque. The efforts of mediators to introduce a resistant British literary public to Spanish modernity via its contemporary poetry will be situated, leading up to an examination of the complex dynamics of the Spanish Civil war period, in which Spanish poets rather than their poetry served as ideological counters within British responses to the conflict.

David Callahan, Associate Professor of English at the University of Aveiro, Portugal, works principally in the area of post-colonial literatures and cultures. He has a supplementary interest in the passage of Spanish literature into the English literary world, and wrote the section on "Nineteenth-century Spanish Prose" in the Oxford Guide to Literature in English Translation (2000), as well as articles on Ortega y Gasset, Miguel de Unamuno, and Stephen Spender and Spanish Poetry. Other recent publications include editing Australia-Who Cares? (2007) and Contemporary Issues in Australian Literature (2002). At present completing a book on the work of Janette Turner Hospital, due to appear next year.

Antonio Capurso (University of Bari - Italy)

The Singing Words of Dylan Thomas

This paper is part of a wider research project about Dylan Thomas's poetry. The object of the study is to examine the opposition between Orality and Writing, an opposition that in Thomas assumes the appearance of a conflict between the Bardic poet - who sings of a pantheistic universe and the force of Nature through the magical use of the voice - and the modern poet committed to the written text alongside the exploitation of technology to explore new boundaries of communication. Thomas creates a bipolar structure through the separation between the written word, confined to the spatial realm of the page devoted to silent reading, and the spoken, almost sung, word which seems to detach itself from the text to return to its archetypal dimension of sound, vibration and acoustic suggestion. These two dimensions proceed on parallel levels, combining to form a layered structure of meaning-significance. The use of the radio and the new recording technologies of his age led Thomas to re-discover a form of orality which can be connected to the ancient Celtic roots of Welsh culture, a tradition in which great importance was given to sound and music, and the word itself was conceived as a powerful instrument connecting man to the Universe, the body and the spirit. This analysis is focused on a comparative study between some poems (in the original language), including their radio reading performed by the poet himself, and their Italian translation, in order to investigate if and how the oral element has influenced the translation and to what extent this has been absorbed into the target text.

Antonio Capurso wan born in Bari on 28th of August 1972. He graduated in 1997 at Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literature of the University of Bari, with the thesis: "Dylan Thomas : Between Romanticism and Modernism". At present time he is a second year PhD student in Translation at University of Bari, under the supervision of the Coordinator of the PhD Course Prof. Intonti, and he is working on a project regarding the translation of poetry , with a particular reference to Dylan Thomas. His main interests involve the processes of communication, semiotics and music.

Marilyn Cleland (Purdue University Calumet. Hammond, Indiana, USA)

Lie and Deception: Platonic and Sophistic Implications for Translation, 500 BCE.

Conditions in ancient Greece discouraged translation. First, poetry is delivered in oral performance. Second, because of anxieties about foreigners, translation of barbaric languages is alien to the Greeks. Thus, explicit theories of translation were not offered by the ancients during the classical period. We must infer attitudes and theories about translation from writings on poesis. Historically, most scholars have concentrated on the poetics of Plato, who in his Republic condemns mimesis, a representation or imitation in (oral) performance that is at least one step away from the true form of knowledge, a form language cannot capture. Because mimesis is a step away from the true, it is in some ways a lie, and therefore possibly immoral or dangerous. (Plato banishes the poets from his republic.) We may infer from this epistemology that translation into another language of (a prior mimetic representation of) a poem in a first language is yet a further step away from the original true form, the idea; translation, therefore, is an even greater danger than the original mimetic effort. Plato was responding in part to the sophists, particularly the first major Sophist, Gorgias of Leotini (480-375 BCE), whose Encomium of Helen, offers the term apate, or deception, as a way of thinking about truth and language, a term which Plato's notion of mimesis counters. If mimetic language is a dangerous (mis) representation of the truth, Gorgias's theory of deception acknowledges that there is no ultimate truth prior to language to be represented, or, if there is, it cannot be known; if known, it cannot be communicated. This stasis, however, can be overcome by the poet, who can deceive us into thinking that the poem has communicated knowledge and truth. Every successful poem, every persuasive speaking, is a deception that something true has taken place. But Gorgias is emphatic that deception occurs only when the kairos is right, when the speaker, audience, and moment together create the beautiful and necessary deception that the true has been spoken. (Moreover, openness to deception is a gift, which some do not have, an unfortunate absence in a person.) Gorgias's poetics suggests that, because a poet can never recreate the immediacy and the presence of the original performance of the poem, the kairotic moment when belief is made possible by deception, translation of that poetic kairos is impossible and creation of an original deception cannot take place. Every translation effort simply begins anew the process of creation of its own kairos and deception. All translations are, in effect, new poems. Poesis and epistemologies in antiquity suggest implications for current issues in translation. Since current data show that the oral tradition of poetry vitally continues all over the world, current scholarship on translation must contend with this. Globalization and immigration may engender resistance to translation by monolingual populations. World Englishes raise the possibility of translation from one English into other Englishes. Competing epistemologies challenge translation theories and methods. Perhaps we may say that all successful translation is a beautiful deception that the original has been captured.

Marilyn Cleland, PhD, is just this year an Emerita Professor in the Department of English and Philosophy at Purdue University Calumet. Her specialization is in rhetoric and EOL (English as an Other Language); she has taught courses in writing, linguistics, world literature and EOL At Purdue, she has also held positions as Director of Composition, Director of the Writing Center, EOL Specialist to the Department, and she now serves as the head of the faculty for a summer program of teacher training in Changzhou, China. Her current interests are in the implications of World Englishes on English curricula in the United States and also on EOL studies and curricula; a continuing interest is in the rhetoric of antiquity, which began with her concentration on the sophistic rhetoric of Greece but which now extends to classical rhetorical theory of China and India. Prof. Cleland believes that the problem of translation must be confronted by all who study language.

David Connolly (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki)

POIESIS AND METAPHRASIS: Poetry and Translating Poetry in Greece

In my paper I propose to outline the close relationship that has always existed in Greece between the writing and translating of poetry. From the Greek national poet, Dionysios Solomos, in the early 19th century to the two Nobel laureates, George Seferis and Odysseus Elytis, in the late 20th, Greek poets have always translated in parallel to their original work, which has often been correspondingly influenced. On the theoretical side, this fact also led many poets to adopt specific and often diverse approaches to the translation of poetry, which, at least in the case of Seferis and Elytis, they would also "recommend" to translators of their own work into other languages.

DAVID CONNOLLY has lived and worked in Greece for the last thirty years. He is currently Associate Professor of Translation Studies at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. He has written extensively on the theory and practice of literary translation and has translated over twenty books by leading Greek authors. His translations have received awards in Greece, the U.K. and the U.S. Recent translations include: Angelic and Black. Contemporary Greek Short Stories (Cosmos Publishing, 2006), Petros Markaris, Zone Defence (Harvill Secker, 2006), Alexis Stamatis, Bar Flaubert (Arcadia Press, 2007), Nikos Engonopoulos, The Beauty of a Greek (Ypsilon Books 2007).