Translation, Intertextuality, Interpretation

Thursday, February 11, 2010
Memorial Union, Journey Room, 4:00 p.m.
Lawrence Venuti, Temple University

Intertextuality enables and complicates translating, preventing it from being an untroubled communication and opening the translation to interpretive possibilities that vary with audiences in the receiving culture. Professor Venuti will argue that to activate these possibilities and improve the study and practice of translation, we must theorize the relative autonomy of the translated text and increase the self-consciousness of translators and readers of translations alike. He will explore these ideas by considering several cases, including translations of David Mamet’s play Sexual Perversity in Chicago and of Sebastiano Timpanaro’s study The Freudian Slip, as well as his own version of Melissa P.’s fictionalized memoir, 100 Strokes of the Brush before Bed.

Lawrence Venuti, Professor of English at Temple University, is a translation theorist and historian as well as a translator from Italian, French, and Catalan. He is the author of The Translator’s Invisibility: A History of Translation (2008) and The Scandals of Translation: Towards an Ethics of Difference (1998) and the editor of The Translation Studies Reader (2004). His translations include the anthology Italy: A Traveler’s Literary Companion (2003), Massimo Carlotto’s crime novel The Goodbye Kiss (2006), and Ernest Farrés’s Edward Hopper: Poems (2009), for which he won the Robert Fagles Translation Prize.

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