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Durham University

School of Modern Languages & Cultures

Events in Modern Languages & Cultures

Translation and Linguistics Research Group: Emeritus Professor Jean Boase-Beier [University of East Anglia] 'The Translation of Holocaust Poetry'

27th April 2016, 13:00, ER141, Elvet Riverside I, Durham University

Translation and Linguistics Research Group Talk

13.00-14.00, ER141

The Emeritus Professor Jean Boase-Beier from the University of East Anglia is giving a talk entitled 'The Translation of Holocaust Poetry'.

When translating Holocaust poetry or analysing its translation we need to place as much importance on the poetics as on the subject matter. Especially poems written after, rather than during, the events of the Holocaust, reflect ways of thinking about what it means to live with the knowledge of the Holocaust. To get to this state of mind, and the poetics to which it gives rise, we need to analyse the poetry carefully in both its historical and its intellectual contexts. Comparing several translations of the same poem is a particularly interesting way to approach analysis. In this talk I shall look at different translations of Paul Celan’s most famous poem, ‘Todesfuge’, and ask what insights they give us into the poem and the ways in which it can be understood and translated.

Jean Boase-Beier is Emeritus Professor of Literature and Translation at the University of East Anglia (UEA). She founded UEA’s MA in Literary Translation in 1992 and ran it until 2015. Her work focuses particularly on translation, style and poetry, and especially on the translation of Holocaust poetry. Recent publications include A Critical Introduction to Translation Studies (2011, Bloomsbury) and Translating the Poetry of the Holocaust (2015, Bloomsbury). Her current research, which follows on from a recent AHRC project ‘Translating the Poetry of the Holocaust’ is on the importance of style and language in the work of Benjamin, Celan, Brecht and others. Jean Boase-Beier is also a translator of poetry from and into German and translations editor at Arc Publications, for whom she edits four series of bilingual poetry books. She is working on translations of the poems of Volker von Törne, for a collection to appear later this year.

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