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C LIT 511 A: Literary Translation

Literary Translation

Meeting Time: 
TTh 1:30pm - 3:20pm
Location: 
PAR 305
SLN: 
11822
Instructor:
Photo of Cynthia Steele
Cynthia Steele

Syllabus Description:

C LIT 511 A               LITERARY TRANSLATION

Winter 2015

TTh 1:30-3:20

Parrington 305                                                          

Prof. Cynthia Steele

Padelford C-502 Phone 543-7542

cynthias@uw.edu

Hours: MW 3:30-4:30 and by appointment

A seminar on the theory of literary translation, a workshop for sharing, revising and refining our own translations‐in‐progress, and a practicum for beginning graduate students in advanced literary studies. We will read and discuss major theoretical texts that make up the field of translation studies. In our discussions, we will consider questions of translatability, fidelity, the hierarchical division between original texts and their translations, and the charged politics of translation. We will compare different translations of literary texts, in order to examine how each version works, and will discuss how translators make decisions on language, style, format, and cultural equivalency. At the end of the term, each student will turn in a portfolio of their translation exercises, each finalized and accompanied by a critical translator’s introduction, and a list of three journals to which they will (successively) submit each translation. The prerequisites for this seminar include demonstrable fluency in reading literature in a language other than English.

Please bring to the first class meeting a copy of one or two micro-short stories that you would like to translate into English, totaling about 200-300 words.

Required Text:

Text: Lawrence Venuti, ed. The Translation Studies Reader. Third Edition. (NY: Routledge, 2012).

Canvas Site:

https://canvas.uw.edu/courses/945544/assignments/syllabus

Essays:

1. Bly, Robert. “The Eight Stages of Literary Translation.” Kenyon Review 4.2 (1982): 68-89. [posted to Canvas]

2. C.M. Mayo, “On Publishing the Literary Short Story”:

http://www.cmmayo.com/onpublishingtheliteraryshortstory.htm

[available at the link above]

3. Two versions of Senel Paz excerpt, by Thomas Christensen and Peter Bush. New World: New Words, ed. Thomas Christensen. San Francisco: Two Lines World Library, 2007, pp. 189-199. [to be posted to Canvas]

Please print out and bring to class the readings for each day (or bring your computer, giving you access to them on Canvas).

Online Dictionaries:

Please identify several good dictionaries that you can use for your translations. For instance, you might want to consult the following general Spanish-English dictionaries, together with one or two dictionaries of regional or national expressions.

http://dictionary.reverso.net/spanish-english/

http://www.babelpoint.org/1/

http://www.diccionarios.com/

SEMINAR ATTENDANCE AND PREPARATION

You are expected to attend all class meetings unless you are too sick to do so. Please schedule any doctor or advising appointments, etc., around the class schedule so you can attend all our meetings. Please come to class prepared by having read the assigned readings and/or completed the assigned translations in advance. As part of your class participation grade, I will ask that each of you lead or co-lead the discussion of one reading per week.

ORAL PRESENTATION

I will circulate a sign-up sheet for dates on which each of you will do an oral presentation on either (a) the contributions to the field by one major literary translator who works in your major language (besides English), b) a n explanation of the major ideas contained in an important recent book in literary translation theory, or (c) a comparison of three different translations of the same poem or portion of a short story into English. Please prepare to speak for 25 minutes and to take questions and direct discussion for another 10 minutes.

TRANSLATION EXERCISES:

You will each be translating approximately 1,500-2,000 words of short fiction and about 300-600 words of poetry into English, following the following scheme:

Fiction 1: first draft of an English translation of half of the short story or short stories that you have selected

Fiction 2: second draft of the first half of your fiction selection & critical translator's introduction

Fiction 3: first draft of the second half of your fiction selection & critical translator's introduction

Fiction 4: final draft of your fiction selection and critical translator’s introduction

Poetry 1: first draft of an English translation of half of the poem or poems that you have selected & critical translator's introduction

Poetry 2: second draft of the first half of your poetry selection & critical translator's introduction

Poetry 3: First draft of the second half of your poetry selection & critical translator's introduction

Poetry 4: final draft of your poetry selection and critical translator’s introduction

Each Tuesday by 7 pm you will upload your draft for Thursday to our Canvas site and email your draft to the other two students in your group. For Thursday you will critique two other students’ translations and bring a hard copy of your comments to the seminar to discuss with them.

FICTION:

Please select a published short story or stories that total between 1,500 and 2,000 words in your target language that, as nearly as you are able to determine, has never been published in English translation. (You will want to do both a search in the library catalog and a google [or similar] search for possible translations.) Divide the work into two portions and post each portion on our Canvas site, as YourlastnameFiction1 and YourlastnameFiction2.

POETRY:

Please select one or more published poems in your target language that total between 300 and 600 words and that, as nearly as you are able to determine, has never been published in English translation. Divide the work into two portions and post each portion on our Canvas site, as YourlastnamePoetry1 and YourlastnamePoetry2.

Grading:

Translation portfolio with

critical translator introductions  60%               

Oral presentation   20%

Class participation 20%

Plagiarism:

Your written work submitted on Canvas will be examined by Turnitin. You are responsible for understanding and observing the UW guidelines regarding plagiarism:

http://depts.washington.edu/grading/issue1/honesty.htm

It is not acceptable under any circumstances to use a for-pay paper web site as a source of information or to use another person’s translations as your own. Incidents of plagiarism may be reported to the Provost’s Committee on Academic Conduct.  A second incident could result in your suspension from the University. Please let me know if you have any questions about these guidelines or about UW policy on plagiarism.

Students with Disabilities:

To request accommodations due to a disability, please contact Disabled Student Services, 448 Schmitz, (206) 543-8924 ((V/TTY). If you have a letter from Disabled Student Services indicating that you have a disability that requires academic accommodations, please present the letter to me so we can discuss such accommodations.

CALENDAR

Mon

Tues

Wed

Thurs

Friday

WEEK

ONE

 

JAN

5

 

 

 

6

 

Introduction

7

 

 

 

 

 

 

8

NO CLASS (I’ll be at the MLA Convention)

Reading:

Founda-tional Statements

Pp 1-68

9

 

WEEK

TWO

12

 

 

 

 

13

Reading:

1900s-1930s

Pp 69-106

7 pm: Upload Fiction 1

14

 

 

 

15

Reading:

Bly essay

Discuss

Fiction I

Visitor: Yomi Braester

16

 

 

Mon

Tues

Wed

Thurs

Friday

WEEK

THREE

19

MARTIN
LUTHER
KING DAY HOLIDAY

 

 

20

Reading:

1940s-1970s pp 107-182

Visitor: Leroy Searle

7 pm: Upload Fiction 2

21

 

 

 

22

Discuss Fiction 2

Visitor: Miceal Vaughan

23

 

WEEK FOUR

26

 

 

27

Reading:

1980s pp 183-268

Comparison of 2 translations of Senel Paz 

Presen-tation 1

7 pm: Upload Fiction 3

28

 

 

 

29

 

Discuss Fiction 3

Visitor:  Brian Reed

30

 

 

 

Mon

Tues

Wed

Thurs

Friday

WEEK FIVE

FEB

2

 

3

Reading: 1990s pp 269-330

Presen-tation 2

7 pm: Upload Fiction 4

4

 

 

5

Discuss Fiction 4

Visitor: Marshall Brown

 

6

 

 

 

WEEK

SIX

9

 

 

 

 

10

Reading: 1990s pp. 331-388

Presen-tation 3

7 pm: Upload Poetry 1

11

 

 

 

12

Discuss Poetry 1

Visitor: Gordana Crnkovic

13

 

 

 

WEEK

SEVEN

16

VETERANS’ DAY HOLIDAY

 

17

Reading: 2000s pp 389-428

Presen-tation 4

7 pm: Upload Poetry 2

18

 

 

 

19

Discuss Poetry 2

Visitor: Sudhir Mahadevan

20

 

 

 

Mon

Tues

Wed

Thurs

Friday

WEEK EIGHT

23

 

 

 

 

24

Reading: 2000s pp 429-450

Presen-tation 5

7 pm: Upload Poetry 3

25

 

 

26

Discuss Poetry 3

Visitor: Heek-young Cho

27

 

 

WEEK NINE

MARCH

2

 

 

 

3

Reading: 2000s pp  451-502

7 pm: Upload Poetry 4

4

 

 

5

Discuss Poetry 4

Visitor: Jennifer Bean

6

 

 

 

WEEK TEN

9

 

 

 

10

Conclusions

7 pm: Upload Final Portfolio

11

 

12

Discuss Final Portfolio

 

13

 

 

 

Additional Details:

A seminar on the theory of literary translation, a workshop for sharing, revising and refining our own translations‐in‐progress, and a practicum for beginning graduate students in advanced literary studies. We will read and discuss major theoretical texts that make up the field of translation studies.

In our discussions, we will consider questions of translatability, fidelity, the hierarchical division between original texts and their translations, and the charged politics of translation. We will compare different translations of literary texts, in order to examine how each version works, and will discuss how translators make decisions on language, style, format, and cultural equivalency. At the end of the term, each student will turn in a portfolio of their translation exercises, each finalized and accompanied by a critical translator’s introduction. The prerequisites for this seminar include demonstrable fluency in reading literature in a language other than English. Text: Lawrence Venuti, ed. The Translation Studies Reader (Routledge, 2012).

Catalog Description: 
Lectures on principles of translating literary works into readable English. Students present and comment on translations made by them and write seminar papers on problems of translation in theory and practice.
Status: 
Active
Last updated: 
April 28, 2016 - 9:20am
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