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Writing Through: Translations and Variations / Edition 1

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Overview

Jerome Rothenberg is one of the major poets of his generation. His work in ethnopoetics, Native American and tribal poetics, Jewish identities, avant-garde poetry, and experimental translation is vital to contemporary poetry and literary studies. Writing Through couples Rothenberg's translations from a variety of non-English sources with his thought-provoking commentary. It also includes a selection of his poetry ("Otherings & Variations") in which the language of significant others forms the basis of original compositions. The result is a lively and unique anthology which illustrates how poetry, like translation, can be viewed as an act of "writing through" the words of others.

Translated poets in Writing Through include Celan, Lorca, Nezval, Schwitters, Picasso and Gomringer. The book also includes Rothenberg's radical translations from oral poetries, "variations" derived from the vocabularies of translated poems, and a series of "gematria poems" employing a traditional form of Jewish numerology. In addition to Rothenberg's groundbreaking essay on "total translation," the book is interspersed with his helpful commentaries and notes, which illuminate a major aspect of his total poetics.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Bly's translations of poems by writers as geographically and historically diverse as Basho, Rumi, Neruda, Lorca, Ponge, and Transtramer helped introduce American poets to a wealth of imagistic poetry that would manifest its influence in the Deep Image and neosurrealist styles of the 1960s and 1970s. Here, his selection of work by 20 poets "engaged in an explosive attention to metaphor" emphasizes the visual over the rhetorical, the evocative ("I am carried inside/ my own shadow like a violin/ in its black case"-Transtr mer) over the narrative. Though Bly's interests extend from classical (Horace) to ecstatic (Kabir) poetries, he seems most assured when channeling the dark lyricism of the Scandinavian poets. Rothenberg shares several of Bly's subjects (Neruda, Lorca), but what attracts him to translation is sound, rhythm, and the challenge of conveying the ritual of poetic experience-"what comes to us as a larger human meaning"-via unconventional "forms of languaging." An experimental poet, Rothenberg regards translation itself as "a form of composition" that offers opportunities for improvisation and extension. Selected from four decades of work, Writing Through ranges from translations of contemporary German poets, Dada poets, Picasso, and others, to Rothenberg's pioneering work with oral Native American and Hebrew traditions, to his aleatory projects with Lorca's Suites and Jewish numerology. Taken together, these volumes constitute a valuable document in the history of how multicultural influences have affected the course of American poetry. Recommended for most poetry collections.-Fred Muratori, Cornell Univ. Lib., Ithaca, NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
“A fascinating book for anyone interested in the art of translation."—Cold Mountain Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780819565877
  • Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
  • Publication date: 5/21/2004
  • Series: Wesleyan Poetry Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 5.52 (w) x 7.82 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Meet the Author

JEROME ROTHENBERG is the award-winning author of over 70 books of poetry and poetry translation and editor of six major assemblages of traditional and contemporary poetry. CHARLES BERNSTEIN is an internationally known poet and theorist and Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania.

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Table of Contents

TRANSLATING THE NEW
From New Young German Poets - Paul Celan - Helmut Heissenbüttel - Ingeborg Bachmann - Günter Grass - Hans Magnus Enzensberger
From The Book of Hours & Constellations, or Gomringer by Rothenberg
From Federico García Lorca’a Suites
From Antilyrik & Other Poems by Vitezslav Nezval
Four Dada Poets: Tzara, Arp, Huelsenbeck, Picabia
Pablo Neruda: Walkin’ Around
Vicente Huidobro: From Altazor
From Kurt Schwitters’ PPPPPP
From Picasso’s Ecrits

TRANSLATING THE OLD
From Technicians of the Sacred
From Shaking the Pumpkin
From A Big Jewish Book (a.k.a. Exiled in the Word)

OTHERINGS & VARIATIONS
A Poem in Yellow, after Tristan Tzara
Satan in Goray: A Homage to Isaac Bashevis Singer
Further Sightings: “Kunapipi”
From A Book of Events
A Flower Cantata
Variations on Two Seneca Indian Song-Poems, with Ian Tyson
From The Lorca Variations
From Gematria
14 Stations

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