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Floating issues List

29 Sept: Issues
6 Oct: A Semi-opaque process
13 Oct: Letter vs. Spirit
20 Oct: Comparing Translations
27 Oct: Process and Hermeneutics
3 Nov: Radical Translation
10 Nov: Linguistic Differences I
17 Nov: Linguistic Differences II
24 Nov: Traveling Will
1 Dec: Literary Considerations I
8 Dec: Literary Consdiderations II

13 Dec: Final Project Presentations

Assignments and Readings for Week 4, October 20
Comparing Translations

Before Class:

1) Prepare a comparative critique of two English translations of the same original. Two formats suggest themselves:

a. Write the original and both translations without any commentary. Then present a commentary comparing the two translations with reference to specific ways in which they differ, and of course specific examples of places where the differences show.

b. Write the original together with a short commentary on where you see problems that might arise. Then present one translation, together with your ideas on how that translator handles the problems; then do the same thing for the other translation. This assignment will be graded.

Post your critique by 10:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 19. Post your discussion of your assigned partner's critique by 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, October 20. Use one conversation for each critique and the discussion of it.

2) Read Vladimir Nabokov, "Problems of Translation: Onegin in English," in Schulte and Biguenet, Theories of Translation, pp. 127-143, and chapters 6, 8, and 9 of Hofstadter's Le Ton Beau (does such a smart-ass mathematician as Hofstadter have a right to even mention one of the greatest literary figures of the 20th century, let alone criticize him? Never mind he was an even bigger smart-ass...Do you, mere students, have the right to decide whether a smart-ass mathematician...) and be prepared to discuss these issues in class.

In Class:

1) We will go over people's discussions of other people's comparative translations. This will allow us to further amend the floating issues list.

2) OK, have at it; we will talk about the whole Pushkin issue. Whether this leads to further amendments to floating issues list, I don't know.