The conventional distinction between originals and copies has posed a challenge to translation for about as long as translation has attracted theoretical investigation. In this undergraduate seminar we will explore how this distinction has been drawn and redrawn across centuries, and we will test the theoretical perspectives we encounter against our own translation practices. We will supplement our readings in history and theory with examples of translations that have extended, redefined, or simply replaced their originals.
All participants are expected to have at least basic reading knowledge of a foreign language. Course evaluation will be based on active participation, completion of regular writing exercises, and production of a high-quality literary translation with critical commentary.