Monday, December 04, 2006

Bad French!

Hi all,

That was another fun class on Thursday. Just to catch up Phyllis, Gail and Susana, we looked at an essay by U Sam Oeur's translator about what it was like to translate Oeur's Cambodian into English ("French bad" became "the French colonialists" or something like that) and tried to rewrite a few of the lines ourselves. Then Rachel Levitsky visited for the second half of the class and talked about translating Zhang Er's poetry. Since Rachel doesn't speak Chinese, Zhang first did the rough, literal translation and then Rachel translated it into the finished poetry, which naturally led to questions about what poetry is or what makes poetry. Shanxing read some of the original in Chinese so we could compare sounds, and then we also talked about how "god" is translated between the two languages, which was absolutely fascinating.

Anyway, for next week, we decided that we really need to finish that Seferis poem, so we're going to focus on that. Rachel may visit again, as we left the "god" question somewhat hanging and didn't get to Zhang's prose poems. Andres is also going to bring in Borges (I think?), so we can also begin those if we have time.

OK, see you all in a few days!


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