Re-visioning:Twenty-first Century Translation - EN838

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2018-19 2019-20
(version 2)
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7 30 (15) DR SM Smith
(version 2)
View Timetable
7 30 (15)







This module helps you to situate and heighten awareness of your own work in relation to your own practice and to practitioners from other languages. You are not expected to know any other language! Instead, you will use cribs, literal translations, commentaries and transliterations, among other tools, to inspire and guide you in creating your own versions, as is common practice amongst translators. Seminars will focus on your work in creating new poems in English, using contemporary or classic poetry in a language of your choice. The work will be contextualised through the study of translation theories and practices. Your final project will be 5-7 finished versions of poems by a single author, along with a commentary outlining your approach.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

One two hour seminar per week

Method of assessment

100% coursework

Preliminary reading

Primary materials
AMICHAI, YEHUDA Love Poems: A Bilingual Edition
CATULLUS, The Poems of Catullus (translated by Peter Whigham)
From the FIELD Translation Series:
Five Taang Poets
Winter Night: Selected Poems by Attila Jozsef
Valuable Nail: Poems by Gunter Eich
The Book of Fresh Beginnings: Selected Poems of Rainer Maria Rilke
Late into the Night: The Last Poems of Yannis Ritsos
GASS, WILLIAM H. Reading Rilke: Reflections on the Problems of Translation
HOLUB, MIROSLAV Poems Before and After: Collected English Translations
HORACE Odes I: Carpe Diem (David West)
POUND, EZRA Selected Poems 1908-1969
PUSHKIN, ALEKSANDR Eugene Onegin: A Novel in Verse Volume I
PUSHKIN, ALEKSANDR Eugene Onegin: Commentary and Index Volume II
REVERDY, PIERRE, My Heart is in My Pocket: Selected Poems of Pierre Reverdy
RILKE RAINER MARIA Selected Poems (translated by Stephen Mitchell)
TRANSTROMER, TOMAS The Best Poems of Tomas Transtromer
VENUTI, LAWRENCE (ed.) The Translation Studies Reader (2nd Edition)
WEISSBORT, DANIEL & EYSTEINSSON, ASTRADUR (ed.) Translation: Theory and Practice, a Historical Reader
ZUKOFSKY, LOUIS Complete Short Poems
MODERN POETRY IN TRANSLATION (various relevant issues)

Secondary materials

BENNETT, GUY & MOUSLI, BEATRICE Charting the Here of There: French and American Poetry in Translation in Literary Magazines 1850-2002
BIGUENET, JOHN & SCHULTE, RAINER The Craft of Translation
BIGUENET, JOHN & SCHULTE, RAINER Theories of Translation
BORGES, JORGE LUIS This Craft of Verse
GROSSMAN, EDITH Why Translation Matters
HARDWICK, LORNA Translating Words, Translating Cultures
HOOLEY, DANIEL The Classics in Paraphrase
LANDERS, CLIFFORD Literary Translation: a practical guide (topics in
QUINN, KENNETH (ed.) Catullus: The Poems
STEINER, GEORGE After Babel (Third Edition)
SULLIVAN, J.P. Ezra Pound and Sextus Propertius
THOMSON, D.F.S. (ed.) Catullus
VENUTI, LAWRENCE The Translator’s Invisibility: A History of Translation
WILLIAMS, CRAIG A. (ed.) Martial: Epigrams Book Two

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

a) developed their capacity for close reading and critical analysis and applied these skills to their practice
b) identified, critically evaluated and interrogated particular literary techniques and translation strategies found in modern and contemporary poetry and short prose and translation theories (for example, literal, literary, imitation, paraphrase techniques in translation) and made use of them in their practice
c) reflected on the wide range of stylistic practices open to the contemporary writer/translator and developed an understanding of how these relate to their own practice
d) confidently applied advanced translation techniques within their work
e) understood through practice the value of versioning, drafting and editing
f) planned and undertaken a portfolio of translations which demonstrates a developed sense of their relationship between their work and its audience

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