Translation: Operations at the
heart (ache) of meaning
A talk with translator/poet ERIN MOURE
6pm February 15, 2012
EV6-735 (enter on Mackay, elevator to 6th)
1555 Ste Catherine West
Drawing on examples from her translation practice in poetry, Erín Moure discusses translation as an operation that is not just linguistic, but social. It takes place in a social field, and is a task accomplished through—and that bears traces of—the intervention of one human body: that of the translator. In translation, the “thing” or “meaning” that is “carried across” from one text to another is never purely a representation of the work of the original author. The “new” meaning is part of a social fabric in the target language and is not solely resident in the text itself. What is meaning, after all, if it is not “our” meaning?
Moure, in her explorations of the translation process, sheds conventional oppositions between modern/postmodern, fragment/whole, subjective/objective to approach something that is perhaps closer to some of Jacques Rancière’s thinking on the distribution of the sensible.
For Moure, explorations of translation help lay bare some of the stakes of what art is, and what it is to produce art.
Organized by the Artistic Production working group, supported by
Canadian poet and translator Erín Moure lives with one foot in Montreal and one in Kelowna. In her recent O Resplandor (2010) and—with Oana Avasilichioaei—Expeditions of a Chimæra (2009) poetry is hybrid, and emerges in translation and collaboration. Moure has translated Nicole Brossard (with Robert Majzels ) and Louise Dupré f rom French, Chus Pato and Rosalía de Castro from Galician, Andrés Ajens from Chilean Spanish, and Fernando Pessoa from Portuguese. Her essays, My Beloved Wager (2009) are a chronicle of 25 years of writing practice. She performs and speaks internationally on poetry and translation, and her work has been honoured with awards on several occasions. The Unmemntioable, an investigation into subjectivity and experience in western Ukraine and Alberta, will appear in February 2012.