W 02:00-05:00 211 Dwinelle Instructor: Robert Alter
The course involves practical engagement in literary translation. Each member of the group will have a translation project for the semester, which can be poetry or prose, in any genre, from any language, and from any historical period. Every week two of the participants will circulate specimens of the their projects, and we will spend the afternoon discussing their work, raising questions and proposing solutions in a collaborative spirit. The course is conceived in the conviction that the process of translation is central to literary studies. There is no other activity that compels this degree of engagement in the literary text, its word-choices, its deployment of diction, syntax, sound, and much else. The act of literary translation thus should be deeply instructive for any student of literature, especially of comparative literature, even if he or she has no aspiration to publish translations.