Can an author claim ownership of a translation on the grounds that it is the same ‘work’ as the original? How is an original ‘present’ in a translation? How do translations ‘represent’ originals?
The seminar seeks answers to these questions by exploring some of the historical debates about the Christian doctrine of the Real Presence.
It will conclude that we can think of translation while dispensing with the idea of an original giving rise to or being transformed into one or more translations. The decisive moment, it will be argued, is the change in the signifying quality of a text recognised as a translation. This should provide a fresh perspective on the relation between translations and originals.
About the Speaker:
Theo Hermans is Professor of Dutch and Comparative Literature at University College London and Chair of the Executive Board of the International Association of Translation & Intercultural Studies (IATIS). He is editor of The Manipulation of Literature (1985), Second Hand (1985) and Crosscultural Transgressions (2002), and a member of the Advisory Board of The Translator. His monographs include The Structure of Modernist Poetry (1982), Translation in Systems (1999), and Metatranslation (forthcoming). His main research interests are in theories and histories of translation.