[MGSA-L] Princeton Hellenic Studies Workshop: February 18, 2011

Dimitri H. Gondicas gondicas at Princeton.EDU
Fri Feb 11 12:47:31 PST 2011


Program in Hellenic Studies


Comparing Translations of Old Texts:
The Case of Homer

George Varsos
gvarsos at princeton.edu<mailto:gvarsos at princeton.edu>
University of Athens
Visiting Fellow, Program in Hellenic Studies

The talk will present for discussion suggestions as to the rationale of a comparative commentary of multiple translations of old texts into different languages: how do theoretical concerns connect to close reading and commentary? From the point of view of theory, the role of translation will be discussed with respect to the formation of textual traditions. The argument will involve the critique of historicist premises on grounds indexed by the work of Walter Benjamin, mainly pertaining to the problematic relations between language and culture. How does this inform the comparative reading of translations? Bearing these questions in mind, the talk will focus on an examination of different translations (into modern Greek and English) of phrases and short passages from the 11th rhapsody of the Odyssey (Nekyia). Ezra Pound's "Canto I" may trigger the discussion.

George Varsos teaches literary translation and theory at the University of Athens, where he is Assistant Professor, Department of French Language and Literature. He holds a parallel appointment at the Greek Open University, European Studies Programme. He has studied Comparative Literature at the Universities of Montreal and Geneva as well as Political Sociology at the Universities of Athens and Paris I. His Ph.D. dissertation (Geneva, 2002) discusses aspects of the philological approach to the history of literary texts: theoretical premises and implications, especially with respect to translation. He has worked and published on the theory and history of literature and translation with emphasis on poetry and a particular interest in Walter Benjamin. He is co-editor (with Valeria Wagner) of the issue on Disappearance of the journal Intermédialités (University of Montreal, 2008) and is the author of a textbook on European literary studies (History of European Literature, 6th to 18th century, Greek Open University, 2009). He has translated a variety of texts into Greek: literature (Ezra Pound, Walter Pater, Vladimir Nabokov) and theory (Fredric Jameson, Paul de Man).

Friday, February 18, 2011
1:30 p.m.
Scheide Caldwell House, Room 103

Cosponsored by the Program in Translation and Intercultural Communication

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