Sound/Writing: On Homophonic Translation

The FEU is pleased to host the second day of this trilingual international conference, which will take place from 17 to 19 November at the Ecole Normale Supérieure, the Fondation des Etats-Unis and Heinrich Heine House.

In the last fifty years or so, homophonic translation (homophonic translation, sound translation, Oberflächenübersetzung) has entered the international literary field, where it is practiced by a growing number of writers in the United States, Germany, France and beyond. Following some pioneers such as Louis Zukofsky, Ernst Jandl or the members of the Oulipo group, this heterodox “genre”, between translation and creation, has spread widely internationally, to the point of becoming part of the exercises offered to students in creative writing courses. Although considered by some as an unacceptable, illegitimate or even unethical practice, this approach to translation now occupies an essential place in experimental literary forms, particularly in the field of poetry. The main objective of this first international colloquium devoted to the question will be to make an initial inventory of the situation, starting with the literary areas where gender first appeared in the 1950s: the United States/Great Britain, France and Germany.

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