CFP: The Author-Translator in the European Literary Tradition

… seen on the Classicists list:

The Author-Translator in the European Literary Tradition
Swansea University, 28 June – 1 July 2010

Confirmed keynote speakers include:
Susan Bassnett, David Constantine, Lawrence Venuti

The recent `creative turn´ in translation studies has challenged
notions of translation as a derivative and uncreative activity which is
inferior to `original´ writing. Commentators have drawn attention to
the creative processes involved in the translation of texts, and
suggested a rethinking of translation as a form of creative writing.
Hence there is growing critical and theoretical interest in
translations undertaken by literary authors.

This conference focuses on acts of translation by creative writers.
Literary scholarship has tended to overlook this aspect of an author´s
output, yet since the time of Cicero, authors across Europe have been
engaged not only in composing their own works but in rendering texts
from one language into another. Indeed, many of Europe´s greatest
writers have devoted time to translation – from Chaucer to Heaney, from
Diderot and Goethe to Seferis and Pasternak – and have produced some
remarkable texts. Others (Beckett, Joyce, Nabokov) have translated
their own work from one language into another. As attentive readers
and skilful wordsmiths, writers may be particularly well equipped to
meet the creative demands of literary translation; many translations of
poetry are, after all, undertaken by poets themselves. Moreover,
translation can have a major impact on an author´s own writing and on
the development of native literary traditions.

The conference seeks to reassess the importance of translation for
European writers – both well-known and less familiar – from antiquity
to the present day. It will explore why authors translate, what they
translate, and how they translate, as well as the links between an
author´s translation work and his or her own writing. It will bring
together scholars in English studies and modern languages, classics and
medieval studies, comparative literature and translation studies.
Possible topics include:

– individual author-translators: motivations, career trajectories,
comparative thematics and stylistics
– the author-translator in context: literary societies, movements,
national traditions
– the problematic creativity of the author-translator
– self-reflective pronouncements and manifestos
– the author-translator as critic of others´ translations
– self-translation: strengths and weaknesses
– authors, adaptations, re-translation and relay translation
– the reception and influence of the work of author-translators
– theoretical interfaces

Proposals are invited for individual papers (max. 20 minutes) or panels
(of 3 speakers). The conference language is English. It is
anticipated that selected papers from the conference will be published.
Please send a 250-word abstract by 30 September 2009 to the
organisers, Hilary Brown and Duncan Large:

Author-Translator Conference
Department of Modern Languages
Swansea University
GB-Swansea SA2 8PP

E-mail: author-translator AT
Fax: +44 (0)1792 295710

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