Literary

L-1 (T, 1:45-3:15pm) Captain Jack Stoney - ALL
Literary Translation: The Nitty Gritty of Getting into Print

Clifford E. Landers, professor of political science, Jersey City University and administrator, ATA Literary Division, Montclair, New Jersey; and Alexis Levitin, professor of English, State University of New York-Plattsburgh, New York

Back by popular demand for the third year in a row, this informal session features two much-published literary translators who provide comic relief along with serious suggestions about how to go about getting literary translations published, whether by magazines, small presses, or commercial publishers. They will cover topics such as organizing one's submissions, writing cover letters, targeting specific publications and presses, and maintaining a positive attitude in the face of rejection.

L-2 (T, 3:30-5:00pm) Captain Jack Stoney - ALL
Well Set to Music: Translation of Opera Libretti
Louis Mitler, owner, TRS Translation Services, Washington, DC; and Catherine Nisato, freelance German, Italian, and Dutch translator and lexicographer, Washington, DC

Joseph Addison commented in The Spectator (No. 18) that "Nothing is capable of being well set to music that is not nonsense." Very seldom do great composers, capable writers, and dramatic texts suitable to be set to music coincide. But today there is a strong trend, at least in the U.S., to perform opera in English (or perform in the original language using "surtitles," which still requires translation).What are some of the issues surrounding the decision to translate or not, the techniques to preserve the contour and resonance of the original language, and to fit the new words to the musical intonations of the score while not violating the meaning?

L-3 (F, 10:15-11:00am) Captain Jack Stoney - ALL
On Translating Verdi's Il trovatore

Ronnie Apter, professor of English, Central Michigan University; and Mark Herman, literary translator, technical translator, chemical engineer, playwright, lyricist, and actor, Shepherd, Michigan

How does one translate Verdi's Il trovatore, an opera popular with audiences but reviled by critics for nearly 150 years, and an opera that everyone from Gilbert and Sullivan to the Marx Brothers has ridiculed? Is Verdi's music so great as to overwhelm all defects in Cammarano and Bardare's libretto? Yes. Is Il trovatore the quintessentially silly Italian opera? No, but you'd never know that from many previous translations. The work is an action thriller, a prototype of a Hollywood western, and it should be judged, and translated, accordingly.

(F, 11:00-11:45am) Captain Jack Stoney - ALL
Theater Translations: The Case of Tommaso Salvini's Othello, an Italian Moor for the English-speaking Audience

Sasha Perugini, performer and Italian freelance translator, Boston, Massachusetts

There is a gap between a dramatic text, heard by the audience during an actual performance, and the original text from which it has been translated. How much does this gap affect the comprehension of the text abroad? How much does it influence the playwright's fame? Through an examination of the cross-cultural foundation of Tommaso Salvini interpretation of Shakespeare's Othello, the paper discusses the concept of authorship and the author's reputation. The analysis will detect the cultural differences that reshaped Salvini's performance through an examination of Giulio Carcano's translation, affected by religious differences, and Salvini's study of Cinzio's Ecatommiti, the source on which Shakespeare based his tragedy in turn translated into English from a French version.

L-4 (F, 1:45-2:30pm) Captain Jack Stoney - ALL
With Paulo Coelho on the Fifth Mountain

Clifford E. Landers, professor of political science, Jersey City University and administrator, ATA Literary Division, Montclair, New Jersey

The works of Paulo Coelho have sold more copies internationally than those of any other Latin American writer except Gabriel García Márquez. His best known novel, The Alchemist, has been translated into more than 30 languages, and he has received numerous literary awards in Europe, yet he remains a controversial literary figure in his native Brazil. Though The Fifth Mountain represents a departure from his usual subject matter, it continues his tradition of offering readily assimilated spiritual insights within a strong narrative framework. Translating this novel, which recounts the internal and external struggles of the 23-year-old prophet Elijah in the ninth century B.C., was an enlightening experience for a translator accustomed to dealing with contemporary motifs and vocabulary.

(F, 2:30-3:15pm) Captain Jack Stoney - ALL
Almost Paradise

Camilla Bozzoli Rudolph, translator, National Geographic Magazine, Washington, DC

What makes Paradise? The music of celestial spheres and the presence of the heavenly host? Hardly! There is another Paradise, a Paradise on Earth, Elysium, as it was evoked in Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. Yet, the line between heaven and hell is thin and one is not always ready to take Paradise in all its perfection. Some may prefer the daily charm of an orderly existence: it may even include a cat or a dog...but it is always conditioned by culture. In a workshop atmosphere with plenty of questions and answers, excerpts from Heinrich Heine, Thomas Mann, Baudelaire, and a story by Dino Buzzati will be read and discussed in order to find out what sort of Paradise man is looking for on Earth.

L-5 (F, 3:30-4:15pm) Captain Jack Stoney - ALL
Translating for the Stage: Getting Past the Title

Phyllis Zatlin, professor of Spanish and coordinator of translator training, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, East Brunswick, New Jersey

Translating plays and getting them staged, or even read, is a challenging task. American theaters today are notoriously biased against foreign plays, except for the classic authors. Theaters, even the smallest ones, are inundated with scripts. How can the translator get a potential director to consider a work? A good title is not the total answer, but a badly translated title is symptomatic of the difficulties that arise in producing a stage-worthy translation. By looking at a selection of titles, this presentation will also focus on the wider challenges posed by theatrical translation.

(F, 4:15-5:00pm) Captain Jack Stoney - ALL
Translation as a Function of the Human Mind

Zuzana Kulhánková, freelance translator and court interpreter, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Language is a rendition of our thoughts into words and sentences. We often say that somebody "expresses his thoughts well" if we thought in words and sentences, we would just speak or write without the step of "expressing" (or translating) them. The question of what happens when people speak and what happens when those words are translated will be addressed.

L-6 (S, 8:30-9:15am) Captain Jack Stoney - ALL
Moods of Panurge: Translating Rabelais Through Tom Robbins and Philip Roth
Albert Waldinger, founding faculty member, Department of Hebrew, Defense Language Institute, Monterey, California

This presentation will describe the assistance of vital and modern American prose in the translation of a Renaissance classic. It will discuss comedy, imitation, prose technique, point of view, and characterization in the context of the developing creative individuality promoted by Rabelais and furthered with qualifications by Robbins and Roth. Here Panurge is not only a "mode," but a "mood." The presentation will focus especially on the translator as a promoter of "Panurgism," both ancient and modern, and suggests that this approach will help him to reveal the past in such languages as Middle French and Biblical Hebrew.

L-7 (S, 10:15-11:45am) Captain Jack Stoney - ALL
Literary Division Annual Meeting
Clifford E. Landers, professor of political science, Jersey City University and administrator, ATA Literary Division, Montclair, New Jersey

(Related Sessions: Japanese, One Hundred Ways of Looking at a Frog; Nordic, Markedness Insights from Translation of the Finnish Seven Brothers; Portuguese, Navigating the Scylla of Purple Prose and the Charybdis of Hypermodernity; Slavic, Transplanting Toads: Poetry Translation Workshop)

 

For more information, contact ATA,
phone: (703) 683-6100; fax: (703) 683-6122;
or e-mail: conference@atanet.org.