As Jose Saramago says, “Writers make national literature, while translators make universal literature.”
For the twelfth week of TORCH Goes Digital, we focused on the theme of Translation. Translation can be seen as producing a text in one language that will count as equivalent to a text in another. It can also be seen as a release of multiple signifying possibilities, an opening of the source text to Language in all its plurality.
Popular content included Media, Translation and Ekphrasis: Dante and the Visual Arts, ‘French dog!’: interpreting insults on the streets of London, and Confessions of a Programme-note Writer, by our TORCH Director, Philip Bullock.
We cast our minds back to the brilliant Linguamania event at the Ashmolean museum, where attendees immersed themselves in a multilingual world, with music, theatre, language tasters and interactive art. A variety of talks are available to listen to, including Bilingualism and the Internet, A Tristan Tile in the Ashmolean and Do Objects Speak?
On Wednesday evening, we had our first online Book at Lunchtime event on Prismatic Translation, edited by Professor Matthew Reynolds. We were joined by Professor Marilyn Booth, Professor Nicola Gardini, and Dr Stefano-Maria Evangelista, who chaired the discussion. Matthew Reynold’s volume explores prismatic modes of translation in ancient Egypt, contemporary Taiwan, twentieth-century Hungary, early modern India, and elsewhere. It gives attention to experimental literary writing, to the politics of language, to the practices of scholarship, and to the multiplying possibilities created by digital media.
On the evening of Thursday 11th June, we had our tenth Big Tent, Live Events! live-streamed event: Voices from the Wings: Poetry, Performance and Translation on and off the page. We all enjoyed listening to a fascinating conversation between academic, translator and writer Karen Leeder and poet, performer and novelist Ulrike Almut Sandig who have been collaborating for the last eight years.