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Translating performance / performing translation

Traduire la performance, performer la traduction
Fondation des États-Unis


“Translating performance / performing translation” invites Jeff Hilson and Zoë Skoulding for a talk on June 20 (5pm to 7pm) at the Foundation des Etats-Unis, Salon Chicago (15 boulevard Jourdan, 75014 Paris http://www.feusa.org/planning-your-visit/):


Sound, Performance and Expanded Translation
This seminar emerges from the research network Poetry in Expanded Translation, based at Bangor University funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council http://expanded-translation.bangor.ac.uk/, which over the last eighteen months has been investigating links between translation, criticism and creative practice.


Translation is, as Rosmarie Waldrop has stated, ’writing as an exploration of what happens between; between words, sentences, people, cultures’ (Sophie Collins, ed. Currently and Emotion: Translations, London Test Centre, 2016), and yet that space of the ’between’, well known to anyone who translates, or thinks about translation as a practice, is often difficult to capture. If all too often the importance or even the presence of translation is masked by the problem of ’the translator’s invisibility’ Lawrence Venuti puts it, this project has looked at how the cultural spaces traversed by translation might be made more visible, and the ways in which intercultural and interlingual elements might be foregrounded in broader areas of poetic practice, including those not typically considered as translation.


Considering translation as performance is central to these explorations. In particular, the interface between sound and translation enables examination of the role of sonic features in the process of translation as well as the extent to which attention to the sound of poetry necessarily involves aspects of translation. Examples will be drawn from Zukofsy’s sonnet sequence "A" (considered as a rehearsal for his later homophonic translations of Catullus), Ebbe Borregaard’s Sketches for 13 Sonnets and David Melnick’s translation of the Iliad. The session will conclude with a presentation of interlingual collaborative poems produced at a meeting of the network in April 2017, and discussion of collaboration as a performative practice. How can improvisatory, sound-based approaches to translation inform poetic process and enable different ways of imagining the space between languages?


Jeff Hilson is a poet and critic whose publications include A Grasses Primer (Form Books, 2000), Stretchers (Reality Street, 2006), Bird Bird (Landfill 2009), and In The Assarts (Veer Books, 2010). He edited The Reality Street Book of Sonnets, published in 2008, and his most recent publication is Latanoprost Variations (Boiler House Press, 2017. He is Reader in Creative Writing at the University of Roehampton.


Zoë Skoulding is a poet, critic and translator whose books include poetry collections Remains of a Future City (Seren, 2008), The Museum of Disappearing Sounds (Seren, 2013), and as translator from French In Reality, selected poems by Jean Portante (Seren, 2013). Her most recent work is Teint, a sequence on the Bièvre written during a residency at Les Récollets in 2014 (Hafan Books, 2016). Her monograph Contemporary Women’s Poetry and Urban Space: Experimental Cities was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2013. She is Reader in the School of English Literature at Bangor University.


“Translating performance / performing translation” is a 3-year project about new translation practices and translation aesthetics http://www.labex-arts-h2h.fr/traduire-la-performance-performer.html

Labex Arts-H2H

The Laboratory of Excellence in Arts and Human Mediations is part of the “Investments for the future” program since 2011. As part of this program, its members conduct research following three main lines: situations, technologies, hybridization.

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