/ 21 March 2024

Lecture on Poetry Translation and Being Translated

Versopolis Traineeship

Welcome to the inaugural class of the Versopolis Traineeship, an initiative deeply committed to fostering growth and enlightenment through the realm of education. As we embark on this educational journey, we're proud to present an enlightening session that delves deep into the intricate and vibrant world of poetry translation. Hosted by Matthias Goeritz - a renowned poet, scholar and translator - this module serves as a gateway to the complexities of translating poetic expression. Accompanied by a distinguished panel including Mary Jo Bang, Volha Hapeyeva and Uda Strätling, our introductory video offers a rare glimpse into the art and methodology of poetry translation.

Through interviews and thought-provoking lecture, the video course explores the nuanced practice of maintaining fidelity to the original work while infusing it with the translator's personal creative vision. Our experts illuminate the unique challenges and rewards of translating poetry - a realm where the meaning of every word and symbol is profound, with the power to evoke a wide range of feelings and interpretations. Their dialogues are a rich source of wisdom, providing poets and enthusiasts alike with a deeper understanding of the translation process, and underscoring the importance of collaboration and deep understanding in bringing poetic works to life across languages.

As well as the engaging discussion between translators, we are pleased to offer additional resources for those who wish to delve further into the complexities of poetry translation (a list of further reading can be found below the video course). Join us on this enlightening exploration of the art of poetry translation, designed to broaden your knowledge and deepen your appreciation of this magnificent craft.

Mentioned works:

Volha Hapeyeva - „Samota. Die Einsamkeit wohnte im Zimmer gegenüber“ (Novel „Samota. Loneliness lived next door“), DroschlVerlag, 2024. Translation from Belarusian by Tina Wünschmann and Matthias Göritz. Book in German translation – https://www.droschl.com/buch/samota/.

Volha Hapeyeva - „Trapezherz“ (poems “The Trapeze Heart”). Droschl Verlag, 2023. Translation from Belarusian by Matthias Göritz. https://www.droschl.com/buch/trapezherz/

Volha Hapeyeva - “In My Garden of Mutants” (poems), Arc Publication, 2021. Translation from Belarusian by Annie Rutherford. Bilingual Book - https://www.arcpublications.co.uk/books/volha-hapeyeva-in-my-garden-of-mutants-656

Kабаясі Іса. “Выбраныя хайку”, Галіяфы, 2021. Kobayasi Issa „Haikus“ (translation from Janapanese into Belarusian by Volha Hapeyeva). https://hapeyeva.org/tpost/m83zzxrhf1-a-book-of-kobayashi-issas-haikus-in-volh

“Which Language are You Wearing Today" – Essay by Volha Hapeyeva on Languages  (available in English and German) https://hapeyeva.org/tpost/ubag4fh0u1-essay-which-language-are-you-wearing-tod

„Am Rande der Einsamkeit. Überlegungen zu Poesie und Übersetzung“. An Openning Speech by Volha Hapeyeva on Translation and Poetry  (in German) https://www.netzwerk-lyrik.org/files/upload/Materialien%20Tagung%20Dresden/rede-dresden-hapeyeva.pdf

Emily Dickinson – Wilde Nächte. Ein Leben in Briefen. Ausgewählt und übersetzt von Uda Strätling. S. Fischer 2006

Rae Armantraut – narrativ. Aus dem Amerikanischen von Uda Strätling und Matthias Göritz. luxbooks.americana 2009

John Ashbery – Flussbild. Aus dem Amerikanischen von Uda Strätling und Matthias Göritz. luxbooks.americana 2013

Gertrude Stein. – Das große Lesebuch. Ausgewählt, herausgegeben und übersetzt von Uda Strätling. S. Fischer 2017

Lanny. Aus dem Englischen von Uda Strätling und Matthias Göritz. Kein & Aber 2019

Der Tod des Francis Bacon. Aus dem Englischen von Uda Strätling und Matthias Göritz. Hatje Cantz 2021

Shy. Aus dem Englischen von Matthias Göritz und Uda Strätling. Kein & Aber 2023

Max Porter – Trauer ist das Ding mit Federn. Aus dem Englischen von Uda Strätling und Matthias Göritz. Hanser Berlin 2015

A Doll for Throwing (work in progress)

Mary Jo Bang – Elegie. Gedichte von Mary Jo Bang. Englisch / Deutsch. Übersetzt von Matthias Göritz und Uda Strätling. Wallstein 2018. https://www.wallstein-verlag.de/9783835332423-elegie.html

Matthias Göritz - Die Sprache der Sonne. Novel (C.H. Beck 2023) Available here.

Matthias Göritz - Spools. Poems (Wallstein 2022) Available here.

Matthias Göritz - Tools. Poems (Berlin Verlag 2012) Available here.

Matthias Göritz - Pools. Poems (Berlin Verlag 2006) Available here.

Matthias Göritz - Colonies of Paradise. Poems (Northwestern University Press 2022) Available here.

Further reading:

Bakhtin, M. M. Speech Genres & Other Late Essays. Translated by Vern W. McGee, U of Texas P, 1986.

Benjamin, Walter. “The Task of the Translator.” IlluminationsEssays and Reflections. Translated by Harry Zohn, Mariner Books, 1968. 

Bhanot, Kavita and Jeremy Tiang, editors. Violent Phenomena: 21 Essays on Translation. Tilted Axis Press, 2022. 

Borg, Claudine. A Literary Translation in the Making: A Process-Oriented Perspective. Routledge, 2022.

Briggs, Kate. This Little Art. Fitzcarraldo Editions, 2017. 

Emmerich, Karen. Literary Translation and the Making of Originals. Bloomsbury, 2017. 

Göransson, Johannes. Transgressive Circulation: Essays on Translation. Noemi Press, 2018. 

Grossman, Edith. Why Translation Matters. Yale UP, 2010. 

Jacobs, Carol. “The Monstrosity of Translation.” Comparative Literature: Translation Theory and Practice, The Johns Hopkins UP, vol. 90, no. 6, December 1975, pp. 755–766.

Kaindl, Klaus, editor. Literary Translator Studies. Routledge, 2021. 

Kareem, Mona. “Western Poets Kidnap Your Poems and Call Them Translations.” Poetry Birmingham, Issue 7, 2020. https://poetrybirmingham.com/mona-kareem-western-translations. Accessed 27 August 2023. 

Kelly, Debra and Madeleine Renouard, editors. Barbara Wright: Translation as Art. Dalkey Archive Press, 2013. 

Lahiri, Jhumpa. Translating Myself and Others. Princeton UP, 2022. 

Le Blanc, Charles. The Hermes Complex: Philosophical Reflections on Translation. Translated by Barbara Folkart, U of Ottawa P, 2012. 

Nakayasu, Sawako. Say Translation Is Art. Ugly Duckling Presse, 2020. 

Nathanaël. Hatred of Translation. Nightboat Books, 2019. 

Ní Ghríofa, Doireann. A Ghost in the Throat. Biblioasis, 2020.

O’Neill, Veronica. Translating Translation: Walter Benjamin on the Way to Language. Peter Lang, 2018. 

Oyarzun, Pablo. Doing Justice: Three Essays on Walter Benjamin, translated by Stephen Gingerich. Polity Press, 2020. 

Polizzotti, Mark. Sympathy for the Traitor: A Translation Manifesto. MIT Press, 2018.

Robinson, Douglas. The Strange Loops of Translation. Bloomsbury, 2022. 

Robinson, Douglas. Translation As a Form: A Centennial Commentary on Walter Benjamin’s “The Task of the Translator.” Routledge, 2022. 

Scott, Clive. The Work of Literary Translation. Cambridge UP, 2018.

Steiner, George. After BabelAspects of Language & Translation. 3rd edition, Oxford UP, 1998. 

Steyn, Jan, editor. Translation: Crafts, Contexts, Consequences. Cambridge UP, 2022. 

Venuti, Lawrence, editor. The Translation Studies Reader. 2nd edition, Routledge, 2004.