Closure of Conference project. Post-Conference Plans

Many many thanks to everyone who participated in the conference, to all those who presented papers, read their poetry or translations, contributed to discussions or just came to listen.

This blog will remain open as a record of the conference proceedings and will continue to include the programme, the abstracts of the presentations and the short biographies of the participants.

We have removed the conference papers from this site because we intend to include revised versions in a post-conference book. This book will not be a representation of the conference proceedings as such, however, but a volume of articles roughly reflecting the structure of the conference. The book will be edited by Ursula Philips, supported by a team of advisers (Urszula Chowaniec, Knut Andreas Grimstad, Kris Van Heuckelom and Elwira Grossman). It is expected that the volume will appear in 2013.

Should anyone wish to contact the authors of papers or read the original papers, please contact the conference organizer.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Bill Johnston, Indiana University

The Peasants are Revolting
Szymek from the Village and Joe from Missouri:
Problems of Voice in Translating Wiesław Myśliwski’s Stone upon Stone


The paper offers an example of praxis (Freire, 1970), or theoretically informed reflection on practice, in exploring choices made in the process of translating Wiesław Myśliwski’s 1984 novel Kamień na kamieniu into English. The translation process presented at least two significant issues above and beyond the usual problems of literary translation. First, Myśliwski’s novel is often categorized as “peasant literature,” yet the use of dialectal and other nonstandard forms of English is highly problematic for a number of reasons. Second, the tone of the novel is overwhelmingly that of spoken, rather than written, language, thus presenting a problem in the creation of a written text.
            In describing the approach I took to dealing with these two issues, I draw on the concept of remainder, a notion that Venuti (2000) borrows from the work of Lecercle (1990). Venuti describes remainder as comprising “target-oriented possibilities of meaning” (p. 485) that are not present in the original yet emerge in the translation. I explore the particular kinds of remainder that I sought to exclude from the translation—these included geographically identifiable dialectal forms, eye dialect, markers of uneducated speech, British English expressions, Latinate words, and semi-colons—and also those I attempted to include, which included generic spoken forms of language, idiomatic expressions, and occasional non-identifiable dialectal forms. Lastly, I reflect on what other kinds of remainder may have inadvertently remained in the finished translation, and what effect this remainder might have on the reception of the novel in English.