Translating E-poetry: Still Avant-Garde

Abstract (in English): 

The American poetry critic Marjorie Perloff undertook the task of rendering a solid theoretical framework to understand the evolution of the art of poetry after Modernism. Furthermore, she traced the evolution of “Postmodern” poetry, analyzing the most radical experiments including the digital poetry of the present. Based on Perloff’s perspective, this paper will observe the evolution of translation as part of the poetics of the American poet Ezra Pound and Brazilian poet Haroldo de Campos. Following its transformation as a writing strategy, they understood translation as a process adjacent to poetry, though the incorporation of translation as part of their own work would be observed as unethical for many critics. Therefore, Haroldo de Campos coined the term “Transcreation” in order to refer his translations as an original work. Interestingly enough, the paradigm for this sort of writing is the Irish writer James Joyce, whose controversial piece Finnegans Wake introduced not only linguistic but also metaphorical and historical translation. Since then, translation would set a new style of writing, a style that relies on the verbal materiality and where the understanding of the puns and languages will not be as relevant as the comprehension of the poetics as a project. From this perspective, this paper aims to explore the processes involved in the making of e-poetry, and offering an approach to its translation. Branching from the modernist translation strategies, which were perceived as “radical” in their moment, the challenging questions posited by e-poetry conjure up a new kind of radicality towards translation.

(Source: ELO 2015 Conference Catalog)

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Hannah Ackermans