The World Over: Translators Speak on New Poetry in Translationcurated by H. L. Hix
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In EP 22, H.L. Hix interviews 13 literary translators to explore the role of translation in expanding our collective sense of possibility and experiences.
Don Mee Choi (re. Kim Hyesoon), Ferial Ghazoul (re. Muhammad Afifi Matar), Johannes Goransson (re. Aase Berg), David Keplinger (re. Carsten Rene Nielsen), Peter H. Lee (re. Echoing Song), Alexis Levitin (re. Astrid Cabral), George Messo (re. Ilhan Berk), Wayne Miller (re. Moikom Zeqo), Jennifer Moxley (re. Jacqueline Risset), Idra Novey (re. Paulo Henriques Britto), Ravi Shanker (re. Language for a New Century), Carolyne Wright (re. Taslima Nasrin), and Linda Stern Zisquit (re. Yona Wallach)
AN EXCERPT FROM H.L. HIX’S INTRODUCTION
“Demopoesis is the charge incumbent upon a collective. It parallels the charge incumbent upon an individual that ‘you must revise your life.’ The capacity to fulfill such a charge depends upon the expansion and ennoblement of a sense of possibility. Pascale Casanova claims, in The World Republic of Letters, that in its ‘true nature’ translation is not ‘a mere exchange of one language for another,’ but is instead ‘a form of literary recognition.’ Her claim hints at why translation offers a very prototype of demopoesis. We (the ‘we’ of any collective) will not be able to expand and ennoble our sense of possibility without recognition, a recognition that consists in acknowledging some range of alternatives, learning who we might be by regarding our own experience in light of the experiences of others. Literary translation is not the only practice that advances such regard, but no practice advances it more.”
ABOUT THE CURATOR
H. L. HIX recently collaborated with Jüri Talvet to translate a collection of the poems of the Estonian peasant poet Juhan Liiv, entitled Snow Drifts, I Sing. His own “selected poems” is First Fire, Then Birds.