Poussière/Bones: On Literary Self-translatability

Park, Joo Yeon. 2017. Poussière/Bones: On Literary Self-translatability. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

This research project considers the potentiality of literary self-translation as an artistic and philosophical question in relation to, and as part of, its potential visual, sonic and material transfiguration. The two-part project – writing and art making – is a form of ‘bilingual’ project in which the parallel parts converse as in face-à-face literary selftranslation. By closely reading texts written by authors who adopt languages of others as primary artistic mediums and self-translate their own works into their mother tongue, another language or a linguistic ‘extended field’ – Samuel Beckett, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Caroline Bergvall, Cathy Park Hong, and Henri Chopin – the written thesis questions ways in which relations between different languages and the self and others could be reconfigured and reimagined through the practice of selftranslation in a space of literary art. As well as defining the characteristics and parameters of explicit self-translation – such as the strong motivation of the bilingual writers to self-translate and the bold omission, deletion, and substitution of words and sentences in a translation which is effectively a second version, which does not merely repeat the first version – in relation to translation as conventionally understood (often referred to as translation by or of others), the thesis draws attention to hidden aspects of self translation: the self-translatability of the ‘silenced mother tongue’ in a selftranslation between languages neither of which is the author’s mother tongue; the poetical and political self-translatability in the merging of different languages in sound-based poetry; and the entire removal of words in poetry performance as a selftranslation which returns language to the infantile origin. The epilogue of the thesis opens up a further discussion by deploying the repetitive mechanism of words and image in the Ovidian classic tale of Narcissus and Echo as an allegorical device, which mediates dialogue between the written and practical parts of the research.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

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self-translatability, self-translation, translatability, translation, mother tongue, language of others, origin, pure language, Benjamin, Beckett, Cha, Derrida, Chopin, sound poetry, Deleuze, Guattari, minor literature, literature of the unwords, Narcissus, Echo

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28 February 2017

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Date Deposited:

24 Mar 2017 16:01

Last Modified:

08 Sep 2022 11:46



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