Sneak Peek 36: Raluca Tanasescu

Echostatements in a Sonic Economy: Poetry Translators in the Digital Age

Raluca Tanasescu

University of Ottawa

Abstract: In the era of transnationalism and digital communication, contemporary poetry translation appears to trigger various international collaborations that go beyond institutionalized practices, being rather driven by private initiative and by tight author-translator relationships. In this context, our presentation hypothesizes that contemporary poetry translation reveals a new important issue that has been generally underexplored: the role of translators as agents of literary change in a translocational / transarchitectural (Cronin 2013) context that is rendered ever more complex by their access to the digital space.

Our presentation uses the example of iconic Canadian poet Seymour Mayne and his Word Sonnets (2010) translated into Romanian, Quebec French, and Metropolitan French; it explores the opportunities presented by his translators’ access to the virtual space by examining the potential of Stephen Kennedy’s concepts of “sonic economy” and “echostatement” (2015) as applied to contemporary poetry translation. Besides the economic advantages, the sonic economy of virtual spaces attenuates the differences intrinsic to the analog ones, as its main feature is the precedence of the qualitative over the quantitative.

Bio: Raluca Tanasescu is a Vanier Scholar at the University of Ottawa’s School of Translation and Interpretation. She is currently working on her doctoral dissertation, which challenges the traditional dichotomies between so-called “major” and “minor” languages and literatures, and examines the role that translation and the digital space can play in increasing awareness of these questions.