Sociologies of Poetry Translation 2019


 Sociologies of Poetry Translation

Emerging Perspectives

Jacob Blakesley 2019

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E-Book: 280 English pages

Price: 4.000 Toman

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While the sociology of literary translation is well-established, and even flourishing, the same cannot be said for the sociology of poetry translation. Sociologies of Poetry Translation features scholars who address poetry translation from sociological perspectives in order to catalyze new methods of investigating poetry translation. This book makes the case for a move from the singular ‘sociology of poetry translation’ to the pluralist ‘sociologies’, in order to account for the rich variety of approaches that are currently emerging to deal with poetry translation. It also aims to bridge the gap between the ‘cultural turn’ and the ‘sociological turn’ in Translation Studies, with the range of contributions showcasing the rich diversity of approaches to analysing poetry translation from socio-cultural, socio-historical, socio-political and micro-social perspectives.

Contributors draw on theorists including Pierre Bourdieu and Niklas Luhmann and assess poetry translation from and/or into Catalan, Czech, English, French, German, Italian, Russian, Slovakian, Spanish, Swahili and Swedish. A wide range of topics are featured in the book including: trends in poetry translation in the modern global book market; the commissioning and publishing of poetry translations in the United States of America; modern English-language translations of Dante; women poet-translators in mid-19th century Ireland; translations of Russian poetry anthologies into modern English; the translation of Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets in post-colonial Tanzania and socialist Czechoslovakia; translations and translators of Italian poetry into 20th and 21st century Sweden; modern European poet-translators; and collaborative writing between prominent English and Spanish poet-translators.

Table of contents

1. Introduction (Jacob Blakesley, University of Leeds, UK)

Part I: Publishing Poetry Translations
2. Publishing Poetry in Translation: an inquiry into the margins of the world book market (Gisèle Sapiro, EHESS-Paris-Panthéon-Sorbonne-CNRS, France)
3. Translation, Publishing, and World Literature: J.V. Foix’s Daybook 1918 and the strangeness of minority (Lawrence Venuti, Temple University, USA)

Part II: Translating Poetry into English
4. Infernal Translations (Susan Bassnett, University of Warwick, UK)
5. Pablo Neruda’s Heights of the Machu Picchu in English Translation (Penelope Johnson, Durham University, UK)
6. Women Poet-Translators in Mid-Nineteenth Century Ireland: A socio-historical approach (Michèle Milan, independent scholar)
7. The Poetry that Makes It (Sergey Tyulenev, Durham University, UK)

Part III: Ideological Debates on Poetry Translation
8. Merging Heresy and Orthodoxy in Swahili Verse Translations (Serena Talento, University of Bayreuth, Germany)
9. Shakespeare’s Fair Youth behind the Iron Curtain: Queer theory and Czechoslovak sonnet translations (Eva Spisiakova, Edinburgh University, UK)
10. Poetry Translation as Ideological Resistance (Bogdan Babych, University of Leeds, UK)

Part IV: Quantitative Approaches to Poetry Translation
11. Semiperipheral Relations: the status of Italian poetry in Sweden (Cecilia Schwartz, Stockholm University, Sweden)

Part V: Microsocial Approaches to Poetry Translation
12. Octavio Paz and Charles Tomlinson: literary friendship and translation (Tom Boll, University of East Anglia, UK)



“This book inaugurates a highly original and very welcome perspective on the sociology of poetry translation. It brings together long-standing experts and promising talents through the discussion of a set of sociological frameworks that shed new light on some of the most relevant issues of poetry translation, and covers a broad range of periods, areas, translators and languages from all over the world.”

–  Lieven D’hulst, Professor of Francophone Literature and Translation Studies, KU Leuven, Belgium

“This absorbing collection of essays gives powerful critical momentum to the developing sociological study of poetry translation. Its distinguished contributors provide searching, eye-opening explorations of the varied socio-ideological forces at work in the translation of poetry – market forces, publishing politics, the shifting credentials of languages, the social ‘complexions’ of translators – an altogether fascinating revelation of translation’s hidden underside.”

–  Clive Scott, Emeritus Professor of European Literature, University of East Anglia, UK

“Jacob Blakesley brings together a collection of inspiring essays which discusses a broad body of poetry from both cultural and sociological perspectives. Transcending geopolitical and geohistorical borders and drawing on cross-disciplinary methodologies, the volume considerably expands the breadth and depth of the research of poetry and importantly contributes to shaping the emerging field of a sociology of poetry translation.”

–  Michaela Wolf, Associate Professor of Translation Studies at the University of Graz, Austria

“This book is an immensely useful addition to the field of poetry translation studies. It takes an incisive, innovative sociological eye to an exciting area of translation, firmly placing poetry translation in its cultural and social context. The sociological terrain is expertly mapped out in Jacob Blakeley’s overview introduction, and is explored in a series of compelling case studies and surveys by leading literary-translation scholars.

–  Francis Jones, Professor of Translation Studies, Newcastle University, UK


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