Voice and Versification in Translating Poems

Voice and Versification in Translating Poems

By James W. Underhill

350 Pages · 9x6 · November 25 2016

Paper ISBN: 9780776622774

Availability: In stock

Product Name Price Qty
Paper
34.95 $ CA
-
+

Description

Great poets like Shelley and Goethe have made the claim that translating poems is impossible. And yet, poems are translated; not only that, but the metrical systems of English, French, Italian, German, Russian and Czech have been shaped by the translation of poems. Our poetic traditions are inspired by translations of Homer, Dante, Goethe and Baudelaire. How can we explain this paradox? 

James W. Underhill responds by offering an informed account of meter, rhythm, rhyme, and versification. But more than that, the author stresses that what is important in the poem—and what must be preserved in the translated poem—is the voice that emerges in the versification. 

Underhill’s book draws on the author’s translation experience from French, Czech and German. His comparative analysis of the versifications of French and English have enabled him to revise the key terms involved in translating the poetic voice and transposing the poem’s versification. The theories of versification from the Prague School of Linguistics, the French and Swiss schools of versification, and recent scholarship in metrics and rhythm in the UK and in the USA have been integrated into this synthetic but rigorously coherent approach to translating poems. The extensive glossary at the end of the book will prove useful for both students and teachers alike. And the detailed case studies on translating poems by Baudelaire and Emily Dickinson allow the author to categorize and appraise the various poetic and aesthetic strategies and theories that are brought to bear in translating Baudelaire into English, and Dickinson into French. 

           Contents

Acknowledgements ..................................................................ix
Introduction ..............................................................................1
    The Difficult Task ................................................................10
    Hope for Poems ...................................................................16

Part 1: Versification

Chapter 1: Form..........................................................................52 
       Formal Definitions of Poetry .............................................27
       Recent Scholarship in Translation Theory ........................30
       Defining Form ...................................................................38
       A Few Key Concepts .........................................................44

Chapter 2: Comparative Versification ......................................49
Different Cultures, Different Stages of 
Poetry Development in Versification .......................................51
Comparative Versification .......................................................54
Opposing English and French .................................................56
Resisting a Reductive Model of Versification .........................58
Terminology ............................................................................60


Chapter 3: Meter and Language .............................................65
Rhythm and Emotion .............................................................65
Stress Systems ...................................................................... 68
Syllable ..................................................................................73
Stress ......................................................................................76
Accent and Meter ...................................................................86
Metrical Manipulation of Accents .........................................90
Metrical Manipulation of Syllables ......................................101
Rhyme 105
Three Functions ....................................................................111
    The Formal Function ........................................................111
    The Insistence Function ...................................................112
     The Surprise Function .....................................................112
Rhyming and the Poet’s Cosmos .........................................113
Evaluating Rhyme ................................................................117
Meaningful Rhyme ..............................................................117
Formal Rhyme .....................................................................118
Hackneyed Rhyme ..............................................................118
Clumsy Rhyme ....................................................................118


Chapter 4: Beyond Metrics ..................................................125
Acoustic Patterning ..............................................................125
Phrasing ................................................................................130
Repetition Proper ..................................................................139
The Orchestration of Rhythmic Elements ............................144

Part 2: Form and Meaning in Poetry Translation

Chapter 5: Theorizing the Translation of Poetry .........................

Chapter 6: Meschonnic’s Critique of the Linguistic Sign ...........
Translating Form .........................................................................
Translating a Poem by a Poem ...................................................
Translating Form .........................................................................

Chapter 7: Organic Form and Organic Translation .....................
Ways of Translating .....................................................................
Semantic Translation ...................................................................
Formal Translation ......................................................................
Semantico-Formal Translation ...................................................
Organic Translation ....................................................................
Voices in Foreign Versification ..................................................

Part 3: Case Studies

Chapter 8: Baudelaires ...............................................................
Baudelaire Today........................................................................
Scott’s Baudelaire ......................................................................
Translation Strategies and Overt and
Covert Poetics ..........................................................................
Chronology ...............................................................................
Strategy .....................................................................................
Archaizing Translators ..............................................................
Metrical Moderns .....................................................................
Prose Baudelaires .....................................................................
Free-Verse Baudelaires ............................................................
Free Translations and Transcreations .....................................
Mixing Strategies .....................................................................
Successful Strategies ...............................................................
The Whole Poem .....................................................................


Chapter 9: French and German Emily Dickinsons ..................
Introducing une Emily Dickinson française .............................
Gender and Personification ......................................................
Malroux: A Voice that Hears and Responds ...........................
Voices after Malroux ...............................................................
Delphy: A return to the academy, or a new door opening?.
What Rhythms Malroux Fails to Set in Motion ......................
What Liepe Hears ....................................................................
The Untranslatable and the Untranslated ................................

Chapter 10: A Final Word .........................................................

                                        Glossary.......................................................................................
                                        Bibliography ...............................................................................