Slavic R5A, Section 2: The Poetics of Translation

MWF 8-9, 187 Dwinelle. Instructor: Caroline Brickman.

Units: 4

All Reading & Composition courses must be taken for a letter grade in order to fulfill this requirement for the Bachelor’s Degree. This course satisfies the first half or the “A” portion of the Reading and Composition requirement.
What makes a literary work a translation? Through a variety of genres, this course will ask you to interrogate the relationship between a translator and an author, the global power dynamics between literary cultures that translate and influence each other, translation between genres, and translation as both a creative and interpretive practice. The primary aim of this course is to help you develop your interpretive and critical writing skills. We will be reading closely and writing critically every day in class. While learning the crafts of interpretation and argument, you will be asked to consider what happens when a practical linguistic problem becomes a literary theme, bringing together issues ranging from western imperialism and economic inequality to gender, desire, and art itself.

Required Texts:
The Collected Tales of Nikolai Gogol. trans. Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. Vintage, 1998. ISBN: 0375706151
The Collected Stories of Isaac Babel. ed. Natalie Babel, trans. Peter Constantine. Norton, 2002. ISBN: 0393324028
Carson, Anne. If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho. Vintage, 2003. ISBN: 0375724516
Weinberger, Eliot, and Octavio Paz. 19 Ways of Looking at Wang Wei. Moyer Bell Limited, 1987. ISBN: 0918825148
Lowell, Robert. Imitations. FSG, 1990. ISBN: 0374502609
Berlin, Lucia. A Manual for Cleaning Women. eds. Stephen Emerson and Lydia Davis. FSG, 2015. ISBN: 0374202397