CFP: The Author-Translator in the European Literary Tradition, Swansea University, 28 June – 1 July 2010
The recent 'creative turn' in translation studies has challenged notions of translation as a derivative and uncreative activity which is inferior to 'original' writing. Commentators have drawn attention to the creative processes involved in the translation of texts, and suggested a rethinking of translation as a form of creative writing. Hence there is growing critical and theoretical interest in translations undertaken by literary authors.
This conference focuses on acts of translation by creative writers. Literary scholarship has tended to overlook this aspect of an author's output, yet since the time of Cicero, authors across Europe have been engaged not only in composing their own works but in rendering texts from one language into another. Indeed, many of Europe's greatest writers have devoted time to translation – from Chaucer to Heaney, from Diderot and Goethe to Seferis and Pasternak – and have produced some remarkable texts. Others (Beckett, Joyce, Nabokov) have translated their own work from one language into another. As attentive readers and skilful wordsmiths, writers may be particularly well equipped to meet the creative demands of literary translation; many translations of poetry are, after all, undertaken by poets themselves. Moreover, translation can have a major impact on an author's own writing and on the development of native literary traditions.
The conference seeks to reassess the importance of translation for European writers – both well-known and less familiar – from antiquity to the present day. It will explore why authors translate, what they translate, and how they translate, as well as the links between an author's translation work and his or her own writing. It will bring together scholars in English studies and modern languages, classics and medieval studies, comparative literature and translation studies. Possible topics include:
• individual author-translators: motivations, career trajectories, comparative thematics and stylistics
• the author-translator in context: literary societies, movements, national traditions
• the problematic creativity of the author-translator
• self-reflective pronouncements and manifestos
• the author-translator as critic of others' translations
• self-translation: strengths and weaknesses
• authors, adaptations, re-translation and relay translation
• the reception and influence of the work of author-translators
• theoretical interfaces
Proposals are invited for individual papers (max. 20 minutes) or panels (of 3 speakers). The conference language is English. It is anticipated that selected papers from the conference will be published. Please send a 250-word abstract by 30 September 2009 to the organisers, Hilary Brown and Duncan Large (email@example.com):
Department of Modern Languages
GB-Swansea SA2 8PP