Non-Translation as Poetic Experience

Critical Writing
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Abstract (in English): 

In my paper I present some points of view concerning strategies for experiencing electronic literature and art made in different languages, and suggest ways for dealing with language diversity in electronic literature. Although educated as a sociologist, I am not a researcher but an artist, and use some of my own works of concrete and digital poetry as a basis for my presentation. This includes two paper-based works of concrete poetry (audition for fenomener uten betegnelse and bokstavteppekatalogen), the screening of my first work of video–poetry LYMS (2009) and my latest film “when” (2011). Because of the nature of my works – and a lot of different works in the world of e-lit – I use the concepts literature and art in a broad sense.

Two possibilities of what I see has exemplarily been done in our community are to make either a new version in another language (“Loss of Grasp”, Serge Bouchardon and Vincent Volckaert) or present the original version with an explanatory list of vocabulary in English translation which I call “explanatory translation” (“The Set of U”, Philippe Bootz and Marcel Frémiot). Additionally I reference Loss P. Glazier’s “White-Faced Bromeliads on 20 Hectares”. Basically, I question if we can take it for granted that all visual poetry can be translated. I draw conclusions, suggesting non-translation as poetic experience that I manifest in a model presented along with different strategies for experiencing a work of language-based art.


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Eric Dean Rasmussen