Voice and Versification in Translating Poems (Perspectives on Translation)

Voice and Versification in Translating Poems (Perspectives on Translation)

By: James Underhi (author)Paperback

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Description

Great poets like Shelley and Goethe have made the claim that translating poems is impossible. And yet, poems are translated; not only that, but the metrical systems of English, French, Italian, German, Russian and Czech have been shaped by the translation of poems. Our poetic traditions are inspired by translations of Homer, Dante, Goethe and Baudelaire. How can we explain this paradox? James W. Underhill responds by offering an informed account of meter, rhythm, rhyme, and versification. But more than that, the author stresses that what is important in the poem-and what must be preserved in the translated poem-is the voice that emerges in the versification. Underhill's book draws on the author's translation experience from French, Czech and German. His comparative analysis of the versifications of French and English have enabled him to revise the key terms involved in translating the poetic voice and transposing the poem's versification. The theories of versification from the Prague School of Linguistics, the French and Swiss schools of versification, and recent scholarship in metrics and rhythm in the UK and in the USA have been integrated into this synthetic but rigorously coherent approach to translating poems. The extensive glossary at the end of the book will prove useful for both students and teachers alike. And the detailed case studies on translating poems by Baudelaire and Emily Dickinson allow the author to categorize and appraise the various poetic and aesthetic strategies and theories that are brought to bear in translating Baudelaire into English, and Dickinson into French.

About Author

James W. Underhill was born in Glasgow in 1967. He is Full Professor and lectures on Literature, Poetics, and Translation at Rouen University in Northern France. He worked as a full-time translator of French and Czech, and published poems in translation from French and German. Underhill's work focuses on both linguistic constraints at a deeper level, and the essential creative impulse by which individuals stimulate the shared language of the community.

Contents

Contents Acknowledgements ..................................................................ix Introduction ..............................................................................1 The Difficult Task ................................................................10 Hope for Poems ...................................................................16 Part 1: Versification Chapter 1: Form..........................................................................52 Formal Definitions of Poetry .............................................27 Recent Scholarship in Translation Theory ........................30 Defining Form ...................................................................38 A Few Key Concepts .........................................................44 Chapter 2: Comparative Versification ......................................49 Different Cultures, Different Stages of Poetry Development in Versification .......................................51 Comparative Versification .......................................................54 Opposing English and French .................................................56 Resisting a Reductive Model of Versification .........................58 Terminology ............................................................................60 Chapter 3: Meter and Language .............................................65 Rhythm and Emotion .............................................................65 Stress Systems ...................................................................... 68 Syllable ..................................................................................73 Stress ......................................................................................76 Accent and Meter ...................................................................86 Metrical Manipulation of Accents .........................................90 Metrical Manipulation of Syllables ......................................101 Rhyme 105 Three Functions ....................................................................111 The Formal Function ........................................................111 The Insistence Function ...................................................112 The Surprise Function .....................................................112 Rhyming and the Poet's Cosmos .........................................113 Evaluating Rhyme ................................................................117 Meaningful Rhyme ..............................................................117 Formal Rhyme .....................................................................118 Hackneyed Rhyme ..............................................................118 Clumsy Rhyme ....................................................................118 Chapter 4: Beyond Metrics ..................................................125 Acoustic Patterning ..............................................................125 Phrasing ................................................................................130 Repetition Proper ..................................................................139 The Orchestration of Rhythmic Elements ............................144 Part 2: Form and Meaning in Poetry Translation Chapter 5: Theorizing the Translation of Poetry ......................... Chapter 6: Meschonnic's Critique of the Linguistic Sign ........... Translating Form ......................................................................... Translating a Poem by a Poem ................................................... Translating Form ......................................................................... Chapter 7: Organic Form and Organic Translation ..................... Ways of Translating ..................................................................... Semantic Translation ................................................................... Formal Translation ...................................................................... Semantico-Formal Translation ................................................... Organic Translation .................................................................... Voices in Foreign Versification .................................................. Part 3: Case Studies Chapter 8: Baudelaires ............................................................... Baudelaire Today........................................................................ Scott's Baudelaire ...................................................................... Translation Strategies and Overt and Covert Poetics .......................................................................... Chronology ............................................................................... Strategy ..................................................................................... Archaizing Translators .............................................................. Metrical Moderns ..................................................................... Prose Baudelaires ..................................................................... Free-Verse Baudelaires ............................................................ Free Translations and Transcreations ..................................... Mixing Strategies ..................................................................... Successful Strategies ............................................................... The Whole Poem ..................................................................... Chapter 9: French and German Emily Dickinsons .................. Introducing une Emily Dickinson francaise ............................. Gender and Personification ...................................................... Malroux: A Voice that Hears and Responds ........................... Voices after Malroux ............................................................... Delphy: A return to the academy, or a new door opening?. What Rhythms Malroux Fails to Set in Motion ...................... What Liepe Hears .................................................................... The Untranslatable and the Untranslated ................................ Chapter 10: A Final Word ......................................................... Glossary....................................................................................... Bibliography ...............................................................................

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780776622774
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 350
  • ID: 9780776622774
  • weight: 478
  • ISBN10: 0776622773

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