Literary Translation Symposium

Friday 1 October – Saturday 2 October 2010

In spite of globalization, English-language publishing remains relatively impermeable to literature in translation. This is a common cause of complaint among translators. In recent years, however, a number of large-scale literary translation projects have been undertaken (such as the retranslations of Dostoyevsky and Proust), new publishers for translations have appeared (like Open Letter and Archipelago in the USA), some Australian publishers have commissioned translations locally, and the discipline of translation studies has continued to grow and diversify. What is the current state of literary translation in Australia and the world? This event gathers practitioners and theorists of literary translation from Australia and overseas.

The questions discussed include: how has the doctrine of literary realism influenced ideas about translation; what determines the regional variety of a language used in a translation; how much stylistic latitude does a literary translator have, in theory and in practice; what are the specific challenges of translating into a second language and when is it worthwhile to accept them; how different is literary translation from other kinds of translation; what special constraints and licenses come into play when translating poetry; what changes are affecting the circulation of literary translations; what special problems are posed by translating classic works and what are the benefits of retranslation; what is the role of translation in shaping the expanding discipline of 'world literature'?

Keynote Speakers

  •     Esther Allen (USA)
  •     Marcelo Cohen (Argentina)

View the program for this event.

Please contact us if you are interested in audio recordings of this event.

Professor Ivor Indyk's Welcome

Keynote lecture
Esther Allen 'Snakebite: Flaubert and the Imprint of the Real'

Panel One
'The Classic in Translation' Meredith McKinney, John Minford

Keynote lecture
Marcelo Cohen 'New Battles over the Appropriation of the Language'

Panel Two
'Styles of Translation' Giuseppe Manuel Brescia, Chris Andrews, Thon-That Quynh-Du

Panel Three
'Ideas of the literary' Eric Abrahamsen,  Simon West, Brian Nelson

Panel Four
'The Poetic in translation' Stuart Cooke, Simon Patton, Peter Boyle

Panel Five
'Future Directions in Literary Translation' Harry Aveling, Olivia Sears

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