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CALL. 30.09.2018: [Session 2] Reading The Odyssey in Translation. Panel at NeMLA - Oxon Hill (MD, U

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This NeMLA session examines reading Homer's The Odyssey at two levels: first, analyzing the various relationships between original text and translation, and second, evaluating the comparative strengths and weaknesses of different translations, with especial interest in evaluating translations of Homer for contemporary teachers, students, and general readers today. Participants are encouraged to bring in handouts of Greek/English texts under review.



FECHA LÍMITE/DEADLINE/SCADENZA: 30/09/2018


FECHA CONGRESO/CONGRESS DATE/DATA CONGRESSO: 21-22-23-24/03/2019


LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center (Oxon Hill, MD, USA)

ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Claire Sommers or Richard Schumaker. NeMLA (Northeast Modern Language Association). George Town University. University at Buffalo.

INFO: Web - csommers@gc.cuny.edu ; rschumaker3@gmail.com


CALL:


This NeMLA session examines reading Homer's "The Odyssey" at two levels: first, analyzing the various relationships between original text and translation and, second, evaluating the comparative strengths and weaknesses of different translations, with especial interest in evaluating translations of Homer for contemporary teachers, students, and general readers today. Participants are encouraged to bring in handouts of Greek/English texts under review.


Robert Fagles’ 1996 translation of Homer’s The Odyssey has been lauded for its contemporary idiom that created a version of the epic poem that is “of our time and yet timeless,” according to a New York Times review. Two decades later, in 2017, Emily Wilson published a translation of The Odyssey that renders the poem from a female standpoint, reconsidering the roles of some of the female characters in the epic poem and the language used to describe them. For example, where Fagles describes Penelope’s hand as “steady” when unlocking the key to Odysseus’s weaponry cabinet, Wilson terms it “muscular” and “firm,” pointing out in a 2017 Vox interview that “weaving does make a person’s hand more muscular.” In her essay “On Not Knowing Greek,” Virginia Woolf laments our ignorance of “how the words sounded” or “where precisely we ought to laugh”; similarly, relying on translation reveals our woeful ignorance of the social and cultural context, let alone the language, of Homer and other writers in classical languages.


These are but some of the considerations and avenues that participants in this panel might pursue.

This panel proposes to address the gaps between text and translation, Greek and English, considering topics such as the following:

· Close comparisons of two (or more) translations of classical works from the perspective of gender, class, race, socioeconomics.

· If in Derrida’s phrase, “il n’y a pas de hors-texte,” where is the text of a translated work?

· Examination of Wilson’s Odyssey in the context of the history of translation.

· Suggested issues, limitations, or modifications in any standard text of Homer.

· Shifting perspectives in Homer translation


Please submit a proposal of about 250 words to the NeMLA Portal. Questions should go directly to Claire Sommers (csommers@gc.cuny.edu) or Richard Schumaker (rschumaker3@gmail.com).

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