Translating the Nineteenth Century: A Poetics of Eco-Translation

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Abstract

What should we understand by eco-translation, in the translation of nineteenth-century French verse? Not the translation of texts that ecocriticism might deem to be eco-texts. Rather the translation of any text into eco-consciousness. This process concerns three aspects of the poetic text: the environment in which the poem locates its subject; the text’s very textuality understood as a linguistic environment inhabited by the reader; and the immediate environment of the act of reading itself. The attempt to capture these three aspects in translation is rendered difficult by language’s own obstructiveness, and requires the harnessing of a broader array of expressive resources. The article explores this predicament, using translations of Mallarmé’s ‘Mes bouquins refermés’ and Rimbaud’s ‘Au Cabaret-Vert’ to make a case for translation’s ecomorphic versatility.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)294-311
Number of pages18
JournalDix-Neuf
Volume19
Issue number3
Early online date16 Dec 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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