Making room for small-language imports: Jacint Verdaguer
R. Puppo. Babel: Revue internationale de la traduction/International Journal of Translation(2010)
This essay discusses translation and translator choices in the context of importing a small-language poet into English-language circulation. Small-language imports play a modest but supporting role in counteracting the sort of cultural daltonism that screens any number of cultures and literatures from general global view. Taking the first English-language anthology of poetry by nineteenth-century Catalan-language poet Jacint Verdaguer (Selected Poems of Jacint Verdaguer: A Bilingual Edition, University of Chicago, 2007) as a case in point, the author/translator argues that if the native-culture value of poetic production is to be preserved in the new cultural and literary currency, contextual essentials (historical, social, literary) must be brought to light. Where the texts themselves are concerned, the translator of poetry must seek to re-create the form-content synthesis of the original, even as new intratextual and intertextual meanings and correspondences emerge in translation.