Faculty Book: Mary Ann Caws

Mary Ann Caws

Surprised in Translation
(University of Chicago Press, 2006)

bookcoverIn eight elegant chapters Caws reflects on translations that took her by surprise, and shows how the elimination of certain passages from the original—Stéphane Mallarmé translating Tennyson, Ezra Pound interpreting the troubadours, or Clara Malraux, Charles Mauron, and Marguerite Yourcenar rendering Virginia Woolf into French—often produces a greater and more coherent art. Alternatively, some translations—Yves Bonnefoy’s of Shakespeare, Keats, and Yeats into French—require more lines in order to fully capture the many facets of the original. On other occasions, Caws argues, a swerve in meaning—as in Beckett translating himself into French or English—can produce a new text, just as true as the original. Imbued with Caws’s personal observations on the relationship between translators and the authors they translate, Surprised in Translation will interest a wide range of readers, including students of translation, professional literary translators, and scholars of modern and comparative literature. Mary Ann Caws is a distinguished professor of comparative literature, English, and French at The Graduate Center.

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Submitted on: SEP 15, 2006

Category: English, Faculty Books