Charles Bernstein

CORE POETICS: Resisting Translation

English 584 / COL 726 Fall 1996
Thursdays 12:30pm, 438 Clemens


TL-Talking Leaves
PR-Poetry Room/420 Capen
L-on reserve-Lockwood (3-day)
X-xerox handout

1. (August 30) Introduction
handout: John Donne in standard English, Shakespeare in hipsterese

2. (September 5) The Translator's New Clothes
Walter Benjamin, "The Task of the Translator" (x)
Steve McCaffery & bp Nichol, "Translation" (x)
Richard Sieburth, from the introduction to his tr. of Hölderlin, Hymns and Fragments
Haroldo de Campos, "Hölderlin's Red Word"
Lori Charmberlain, "Gender and the Metaphorics of Translation" in Venuti collection (x)
Lawrence Venuti, The Translator's Invisibility: A History of Translation (TL, L on order)
Venuti, New York Times review of Antonio Tabucchi translation (x)
Maurice Blanchot, tr. Siebruth, "Translating" (x)
Venuti, ed., Rethinking Translation (TL, L on order)
George Steiner, After Babel: Aspect of Language and Translation (Oxford, 1974)
Joseph Grahm, ed., Difference in Translation (Cornell, 1985)

3. (September 12) The Limits of Culture/The Limits of Translation
Clifford Geertz, "Culture War" (x)
Ludwig Wittgenstein, "Remarks on Fraser's Golden Bough" (x)
Peter Winch, The Idea of a Social Science (TL, L)
James Clifford, The Predicament of Culture (TL, L): esp. introduction (x) and "On Ethnographic Self-Fashioning"
Thomas Kuhn, from The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (X)
Antoine Berman, from The Experience of the Foreign (x)
Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations
Further Reading:
Eric Cheyfitz, The Poetics of Imperialism: Translation and Colonization from The Tempest to Tarzan
Tejaguini Niranjana, Siting Translation: History, Post-Sturcutralism, and the Colonial Context

4. (September 19) The Homophonic Sublime: Breaking the Translation Curtain
Louis Zukofsy, "A"-9 (x)
Zukofsky, "Notes for the fist half of "A"-9" (x)
Zukofsky, Catullus (PR, x)
Six Fillious by bp nichol, Steve McCaffery, Robert Fillious, George Brecht, Dick Higgins, Dieter Roth (PR)
Gertrude Stein, "Before the Flowers of Friendship Faded Friendship Faded" (x)
David Melnick, Men in Aida (TL,PR)
Bernadette Mayer, "Catullus #42" from The Formal Field of Kissing
Lee Ann Brown, Miss Traduction (handout)
Javant Biarujia (x)
Jabberwocky by Apple, various by Microsoft (x)
Bernstein, "A Test of Poetry" (x)
plus: *slide presentation*
Ezra Pound's tr., Electra, Translations (both New Directions) and Pound's Calvalcanti, ed. David Anderson
Paul Blackburn, tr., Proensa: An Anthology of Troubadour Poetry

5. (September 26) Pierre Joris
"Untranslatability/Translatability : Community/Uncommunity"
Breathturn by Paul Celan, tr. Joris (TL)
The Unavowable Community by Maurice Blanchot, tr. Joris (TL, PR)
The Coming Community by Giorgio Agambin, tr. Michael Hardt (TL,L)

6. (October 3) Translation Colloquium
We will meet in 420 Capen Hall. The session will go beyond 3:10pm.
Lecture by John Felstiner: "The Art of Loss: Translating Neruda and Celan"
Poetry Reading and Talk by Armand Schwerner: "The Tablets / Dante"
Introductions/responses: Jerome Rothenberg, Dennis Tedlock, Ray Federman
Felstiner, Paul Celan: Poet, Survivor, Jew (TL or L).
Schwerner, The Tablets (TL or PR)
Rothenberg, "Total Translation" (x)
McCaffery/nichol, "Some Notes on J. Rothenberg and Total Tr." (from Rational Geomancy)
Felstiner, Translating Neruda: The Way to Macchu Picchu

7. (October 10) Susan Schultz
"Local Vocals: Hawai'i's Pidgin Literature, Performance, and Postcoloniality"
Lois-Ann Yamanaka, Saturday Night at the Pahala Theatre,
published by Bamboo Ridge Press.
Yunte Huang, "The Translator's Invisible Hand" (x)

8. (October 17) Serge Gavronsky
Talk: "Transpoetics: Theory and Models"
Gavronsky, "Zuk/Zeuk or Louis Zukofsky in Translation" (x)
Gavronsky, two translaton into French of Zukofsky's "A"-1
St. Jerome, "Lettre à Pammachius"
A Test of Translation: 4 versions of Ponge's Les Mres & 6 versions of "Democracy"
Gavronsky, "Long Live Polygenesis"
Towards a New Poetics: Contemporary Writing from France, ed. Gavronsky
Gavronsky, ed. Modern French Poetry
Gavronsly, tr., Ponge, The Sun Placed in the Abyss and Other Texts
Gavronsky, Franics Ponge and the Power of Language
Gavronsky, "The Translator: From Piety to Cannibalism" in SubStance 16 (1977)

9. (October 24) A Conversation with Leslie Scalapino
Scalapino: Objects in the Terryfying Tense / Longing from Taking Hold, The Weatherman Turns Himself In, and The Front Matter / Dead Souls (TL and PR)
"Time and Activity / Qall that I Hear is me and Silence" (x)

10. (October 31) Barrett Watten
"From BASIC English to Under Erasure: Is There a Metalanguage?"
Watten, Conduit
Watten, "New Meaning and Poetic Vocabulary" (x), from "Under Erasure" (x)

11. (November 7) Untranslatable Parts: A Poetics of Nonsense
David Melnick, Pcoet (TL, PR)
Jean-Jacques LeCercle, Philosophy through the Looking Glass (TL, L)
John Johnston, "Translation as Simulacrum" in Venuti collection (x)
Starobinski/Saussure (x)
Khlebnikov, "The Word as Such" &c (x)
Julia Kristeva, Revolution of Poetic Language (TL,L)
Marnie Parsons, Touch Monkeys: Nonsense Strategies for Reading 20th Century Poetry (L, TL)
Lecercle: The Violence of Language, Philosophy of Nonsense
Susan Stewart, Nonsense
Brian McHale, "Making (non)sense of postmodernist poetry" (a discussion of poems by John Ashbery, J.H. Prynne, and Ch. Bernstein) published in Language, Text and Context, ed. Michael Toolan (London and New York: Routledge, 1992)
Complete writings of Edward Lear and Lewis Carroll
The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes, ed. Opie
Alison Rieke, The Senses of Nonsense [readings of Joyce, Stein, and Zukofsky]

12. (November 14) Hank Lazer
"Poetry, Criticism, and Institutional Negotiations"
Lazer, Double Space and Issues and Institutions, vol. 1 of Opposing Poetries (TL).
Recommended: vol. 2 of Opposing Poetries

13. (November 21) Special projects/rescheduled discussions
Andrew Benjamin, "Translating Origins" (untranslated, in Venuti collection (x)
Giorgio Agamben, "The Idea of the Unique", tr. Sullivan & Whitsitt, in Idea of Prose (x)
Andrew Benjamin, Translation and the Nature of Philosophy

14. (December 5: Last Class

New Readings:
Naoki Sakai, Translation and Subjectivity, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997 (in English, Japanese & Korean).
Douglas Robinson:  The Translator's Turn and Who Translates? (SUNY PRESS)
Translator Subjectivities Beyond Reason
Reuben Browe, On Translation
Eugene Nida, Toward a Science of Translation
Rosanna Warren, The Art of Translation
Susan Bassnet and André Bassnet, Constructing Cultures: Essays on Literary Translation1998: Multilingual Matters
Materialities of Communication,
ed. by H U Gumbrecht and K L Pfeiffer
Bassnett, Susan and Trivedi, Harish (1999) Post-Colonial Translation, Theory and Practice, London , New York : Routledge
The Scandals of Translation : Towards an Ethics of Difference by Lawrence Venuti
Nation, Language, and the Ethics of Translation Edited by Sandra Bermann and Michael Wood (Princeton, 2005)
Steven Yao, Translation and the Language of Modernism: Gender, Politics, and Language New York : Palgrave Macmillan. 2002, xii, 291 pp.
towards a foreign likeness bent: translation duration : poetics (book 1), ed. Jerrold Shirmora
See also, bpNichol, Translating Translating Apollinaire.

Here are two more complex translation experiments with Chinese: the 85s & Jonathan's Stalling's Yinglishi

Translation Experiments: