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A Poetics of Translation

Between Chinese and English Literature

Western literature, from the mysterious figure of Marco Polo to the deliberate fictions of Daniel Defoe and Mark Twain, has constructed portraits of China born of dreamy parody or sheer prejudice. The West’s attempt to understand China has proven as difficult as China’s attempt to understand the West. A Poetics of Translation is the result of academic conversations between scholars in China and the West relating to issues in translation. “Translation” here is meant not only as the linguistic challenges of translating from Chinese into English or English into Chinese, but also as the wider questions of cultural translation at a time when China is in a period of rapid change. The volume illustrates the need for scholars, both eastern and western, to learn very quickly to live within the exchange of ideas, often with few precedents to guide or advise. This book also reflects the final impossibility of the task of translation, which is always, at best, approximate. By examining texts from the Bible to poetry and from historical treatises to Shakespeare, this volume carefully interrogates—and ultimately broadens—translation by exposing the multiple ways in which linguistic, cultural, religious, historical, and philosophical meaning are formed through cross-cultural interaction. Readers invested in the complexities of translation betwixt China and the West will find this volume full of intriguing studies and attentive readings that encompass the myriad issues surrounding East-West translation with rigor and imagination.

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Poetry and Conflict Anthology

edited by Bei Dao, Shelby K. Y. Chan, Gilbert C. F. Fong, Lucas Klein, Christopher Mattison, Chris Song

Following the convening of IPNHK 2015, Poetry and Conflict presents works by world-acclaimed poets from war-troubled countries in the past such as the United States (Anne Waldman, Peter Cole), Japan (Yoko Tawada, Noriko Mizuta), South Korea (Kim Hyesoon), Macedonia (Nikola Madzirov), Catalonia (Gemma Gorga), Portugal (Fernando Pinto do Amaral), Burma (ko ko thett), Morroco (Mohammed Bennis), China (Wang Xiaoni), Taiwan (Chen Li), Hong Kong (Lau Yee-ching), and those of today such as Israel (Agi Mishol) and Palestine (Ghassan Zaqtan, Najwan Darwish). The collection makes a treasured contemporary poetry anthology in trilingual or bilingual presentation.

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Portraits de traductrices

Sous la direction de Jean Delisle

Ce recueil nous fait pénétrer dans le cabinet de travail de onze femmes, traductrices de romans, de traités scientifiques, d’études historiques et d’ouvrages philosophiques. L’une d’elles a traduit la Bible en entier. Une autre est l’auteur d’un manuel de traduction qui a fait date. Grâce à la traduction, ces femmes instruites, indépendantes et déterminées ont put s’affirmer sur le plan social, pénétrer dans le monde des idées et prendre la parole à des époques où cela leur était refusé. Ce faisant, elles ont contribué à modifier le regard déformant que les hommes portaient sur les capacités intellectuelles des femmes. Au cours de l’histoire, les traductrices ont assumée les mêmes rôles que les traducteurs masculins. Seul celui de « soutien au conjoint » leur serait propre. La connaissance du sujet traduisant est indispensable à l’interprétation et à la compréhension d’une oeuvre traduite. Aussi, les auteurs de ces portraits bien documentés ont-ils complété l’analyse des traductions par l’examen des circonstances qui les ont vues naître. Sans faire de concession à la rigueur scientifique, sans verse non plus dans l’éloquence emphatique ou le lyrisme exalté, ils ont su peindre tout en nuances et dans une langue vivante, des traductrices indissociables de leur oeuvre. Des femmes qui, à certains égards, sont exceptionnelles. Assez en tout cas pour mériter d’être mieux connues. Assez pour figurer en bonne place dans les annales de l’histoire de la traduction.

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Practical Challenges in Customary Law Translation

The Case of Rwanda�s Gacaca Law

Telesphore Ngarambe

The Rwandan justice system know as Gacaca, originally preserved by word of mouth was revived, documented, tested and used successfully to handle millions of legal cases in the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide against the Tutsi. This monograph begins by depicting the general picture of customary law and ponders on the practical challenges in the production of the modern Gacaca law in three versions: Kinyarwanda, French and English. The author demonstrates that translation involves language use and transfer, as well as communication within a cultural setting. The book amply demonstrates that linguistic, textual, contextual and cultural cues in translation should not be downplayed. It also shows that the cultural turn in translation has transformed and re-conceptualised the translation theory to integrate non-western thought about translation discipline since time immemorial. A major theme within the book is that teranslation as a mediating form between cultures and contexts should not overlook cultural differences because language is a marker of identity.

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Prado

by Gleb Shulpyakov

This pocket-sized paperback is one of the twenty-two titles published for 2015 Hong Kong International Poetry Nights. The theme of IPHHK2015 is “Poetry and Conflict”. 21 international poets from 18 different places are invited to participate in recitations, symposia and sharing sessions of the Poetry Nights. A recitation focusing on 10 local Hong Kong poets, “Hong Kong Cantonese Poetry Night” is included. This collection seeks to make accessible the best of contemporary international poetry with outstanding translations.

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Prosodic Markers and Utterance Boundaries in American Sign Language Interpretation

Brenda Nicodemus

In interpreting, professionals must be able to convey to their clients the rhythm, stress, and length of phrases used by the communicating parties to indicate their respective emotional states. Such subtleties, which can signal sarcasm and irony or whether a statement is a question or a command, are defined in linguistics as prosody. Brenda Nicodemus’s new volume, the fifth in the Studies in Interpretation series, discusses the prosodic features of spoken and signed languages, and reports the findings of her groundbreaking research on prosodic markers in ASL interpretation. In her study, Nicodemus videotaped five highly skilled interpreters as they interpreted a spoken English lecture into ASL. Fifty Deaf individuals viewed the videotaped interpretations and indicated perceived boundaries in the interpreted discourse. These identified points were then examined for the presence of prosodic markers that might be responsible for the perception of a boundary. Prosodic Markers and Utterance Boundaries reports on the characteristics of the ASL markers, including their frequency, number, duration, and timing. Among other findings, the results show that interpreters produce an average of seven prosodic markers at each boundary point. The markers are produced both sequentially and simultaneously and under conditions of highly precise timing. Further, the results suggest that the type of prosodic markers used by interpreters are both systematic and stylistic.

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Reading, Translating, Rewriting

Angela Carter's Translational Poetics

Martine Hennard Dutheil de la Rochère

In translating Charles Perrault's seventeenth-century Histoires ou contes du temps passé, avec des Moralités into English, Angela Carter worked to modernize the language and message of the tales before rewriting many of them for her own famous collection of fairy tales for adults, The Bloody Chamber, published two years later. In Reading, Translating, Rewriting: Angela Carter's Translational Poetics, author Martine Hennard Dutheil de la Rochère delves into Carter's The Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault (1977) to illustrate that this translation project had a significant impact on Carter's own writing practice. Hennard combines close analyses of both texts with an attention to Carter's active role in the translation and composition process to explore this previously unstudied aspect of Carter's work. She further uncovers the role of female fairy-tale writers and folktales associated with the Grimms' Kinder- und Hausmärchen in the rewriting process, unlocking new doors to The Bloody Chamber. Hennard begins by considering the editorial evolution of The Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault from 1977 to the present day, as Perrault's tales have been rediscovered and repurposed. In the chapters that follow, she examines specific linkages between Carter's Perrault translation and The Bloody Chamber, including targeted analysis of the stories of Red Riding Hood, Bluebeard, Puss-in-Boots, Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella. Hennard demonstrates how, even before The Bloody Chamber, Carter intervened in the fairy-tale debate of the late 1970s by reclaiming Perrault for feminist readers when she discovered that the morals of his worldly tales lent themselves to her own materialist and feminist goals. Hennard argues that The Bloody Chamber can therefore be seen as the continuation of and counterpoint to The Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault, as it explores the potential of the familiar stories for alternative retellings. While the critical consensus reads into Carter an imperative to subvert classic fairy tales, the book shows that Carter valued in Perrault a practical educator as well as a proto-folklorist and went on to respond to more hidden aspects of his texts in her rewritings. Reading, Translating, Rewriting is informative reading for students and teachers of fairy-tale studies and translation studies.

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Ricochet

Word Sonnets - Sonnets d'un mot

Seymour Mayne

Ricochet is a bilingual collection of word sonnets by one of the chief innovators of the form, Seymour Mayne. It includes three sequences of pithy and evocative poems that encapsulate moments of sharp perception while also drawing attention to instants of humour that suddenly appear in daily life.

Concise and visual in effect, word sonnets are fourteen line poems, with one word per line. Frequently allusive and imagistic, they can also be irreverent and playful. While informed by other short poetry forms such as the Haiku, Mayne’s word sonnets are deeply influenced by the Talmudic tradition of maxims, proverbs and images that instruct and inform everyday life.

Presented with an excellent translation of the poems into French, Ricochet is a unique volume that showcases this innovative new form. The collection also includes a short preface by the poet and an introductory essay by the translator on the challenges of translating word sonnets.

Ricochet est un recueil bilingue de sonnets d’un mot écrits par l’un des principaux innovateurs de cette forme poétique, Seymour Mayne. On y trouve trois séries de poèmes piquants et évocateurs, qui recèlent des moments de perception aiguë, tout en attirant l’attention sur des instants d’humour surgissant tout à coup dans la vie quotidienne.

Les sonnets d’un mot sont des poèmes de quatorze lignes, concis, ayant un mot par ligne, et à l’effet visuel certain. Souvent elliptiques et imagés, ils s’avèrent aussi parfois irrévérencieux et taquins. Bien qu’inspirés par d’autres formes de courts poèmes, comme le haïku, les sonnets de Seymour Mayne sont profondément liés à la tradition talmudique des maximes, proverbes et images qui éclairent la vie quotidienne.

Présentant une excellente traduction des poèmes en français, Ricochet est un livre unique qui met en valeur cette nouvelle forme littéraire. L’ouvrage comprend également une courte préface du poète et une introduction de la traductrice sur les défis que comporte la traduction de sonnets d’un mot.

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Riddles of Belonging

India in Translation and Other Tales of Possession

Christi Merrill

Can the subaltern joke? Christi A. Merrill answers by invoking riddling, oral-based fictions from Hindi, Rajasthani, Sanskrit, and Urdu that dare to laugh at what traditions often keep hidden-whether spouse abuse, ethnic violence, or the uncertain legacies of a divinely wrought sex change. Herself a skilled translator, Merrill uses these examples to investigate the expectation that translated work should allow the non-English-speaking subaltern to speak directly to the English-speaking reader. She plays with the trope of speaking to argue against treating a translated text as property, as a singular material object to be carried across(as trans-latus implies.) She refigures translation as a performative telling in turn,from the Hindi word anuvad, to explain how a text might be multiply possessed. She thereby challenges the distinction between originaland derivative,fundamental to nationalist and literary discourse, humoring our melancholic fixation on what is lost. Instead, she offers strategies for playing along with the subversive wit found in translated texts. Sly jokes and spirited double entendres, she suggests, require equally spirited double hearings.The playful lessons offered by these narratives provide insight into the networks of transnational relations connecting us across a sea of differences. Generations of multilingual audiences in India have been navigating this Ocean of the Stream of Storiessince before the 11th century, arriving at a fluid sense of commonality across languages. Salman Rushdie is not the first to pose crucial questions of belonging by telling a version of this narrative: the work of non-English-language writers like Vijay Dan Detha, whose tales are at the core of this book, asks what responsibilities we have to make the rights and wrongs of these fictions come alive age after age.

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The Salt Dress Inside Me

by Kim Hyesoon

This pocket-sized paperback is one of the twenty-two titles published for 2015 Hong Kong International Poetry Nights. The theme of IPHHK2015 is “Poetry and Conflict”. 21 international poets from 18 different places are invited to participate in recitations, symposia and sharing sessions of the Poetry Nights. A recitation focusing on 10 local Hong Kong poets, “Hong Kong Cantonese Poetry Night” is included. This collection seeks to make accessible the best of contemporary international poetry with outstanding translations.

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