Abstracts

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Abstracts-K



Daniel Katz (University of Warwick)


Ezra Pound's Provincial Provence: Arnaut Daniel, Gavin Douglas, and the Vulgar Tongue

This paper will examine Ezra Pound's use of a Middle Scots lexicon derived from Gavin Douglas' 1513 translation of The Aeneid for his own 1917 renderings of the Provencal poet Arnaut Daniel. If the use of archaisms to translate older texts, such as the recourse to a "pre- Elizabethan" idiom to render Guido Cavalcanti, is one of Pound's most common techniques, the plundering of Douglas for the Arnaut versions is extremely noteworthy for several reasons: first of all, the idiom which Pound mobilizes is not simply one among the series of older Englishes which he relished, but one which itself had been used in the practice of translation. Douglas' language, then, is not a "natural" English seen as apt to assimilate the foreign Arnaut, but presumably, an idiom itself already elaborated under the pressure of the foreign. Second, as Pound makes clear, he prizes Douglas' idiom precisely as the expression of a local vernacular, in tension with "standard" English. The choice of Scots to express the linguistic particularity of Arnaut - the only shade in the entire Divine Comedy, as Pound points out, whom Dante allows to speak his native tongue - further inscribes Pound within the "provincial" modernism, with its joint insistence on the polyglot and the "demotic urge," which Robert Crawford has outlined in his Devolving English Literature. Drawing on Crawford and Antoine Berman, this paper will examine how Pound here posits translation as the elaboration of linguistic singularity and difference, within a problematics of equivalence and exchange which rules out all ahistorical notions of an ideally neutral or "natural" linguistic surface.


After taking my PhD in Comparative Literature from Stanford University, I taught for several years in France, most recently at the University of Paris - Denis Diderot. I am currently Assistant Professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick. My publications include many articles on modernist literature and poetics, and the following two books: "Saying I No More: Subjectivity and Consciousness in the Prose of Samuel Beckett" (Northwestern UP, 1999), and "American Modernism's Expatriate Scene: The Labour of Translation" (Edinburgh UP, 2007).



Judy Kendall (Salford University)


Gender Issues and Originality in Poetic Collaborations/Translations

This paper will examine the dicey but rewarding transactions that occur in the process of collaborative translation, drawing on the speaker's practical experience in collaborating as a translator with the original poets in translations of Geart von de Mear's Frisian sonnets, Miyaji Eiko's Japanese haiku and Motokiyo Zeami's Japanese Noh plays. The paper will address gender issues that arise during such translation processes, looking at negotiation of the translation approach; negotiation of ownership of the material; methods of determining when a translation is 'ready'; and, crucially, alternative or parallel translations in terms of gender - bias. In order to understand better the processes involved, specific reference will be made to the process of composing original poetry, which, it will be argued, bears many similarities to collaborative poetic translation. A detailed examination of aspects of the processes involved in collaborative translation will be set in the context of the speaker's meticulous documentation of the processes that occur during her creative activities, as the original writer of the poetry collection The Drier The Brighter (Cinnamon Press, 2007), and as a collaborative digital poet. The paper will argue that, as in original poetic work, the process of collaborative poetic translation involves essential elements of space, temporal and physical dislocation, displacement, flexible attention, and, crucially, the use of 'other' readers. Feedback from these 'other' readers, whether third parties, or simply the collaborators after temporal displacement has occurred, will flag up gender and cultural issues implicit in the translation drafts.


Dr Judy Kendall is a full-time lecturer in English and Creative Writing at Salford University. Previous to this, she spent about seven years as a lecturer at Kanazawa University, Japan, and collaborated in several translation projects while she was there. Since then she has continued to work on the production of translated kyogen and noh and the translation of Frisian poetry. Her doctorate was on the process of composition as studied in her own work and the work of Edward Thomas. She has published an article on 'Translation and the challenge of orthography' in Translation and Creativity: Perspectives on Creative Writing & Translation Studies, Continuum Books February 2006; edited Carcanet's Edward Thomas's Poets, which focuses on Thomas's creative processes as evidenced in his poems and letters; and is also a published and performing poet, with a collection The Drier The Brighter published by Cinnamon Press, 2007.