Literary Modernism and the Avant-Garde (2014)/ 言語表現技術演習 b

(Innovative Writing and Translation)


Credits: 2
Day/Period: Thursday 5th period (16:45-18:00)
Classroom: Bunkei-sogo-kan 623
Instructor: Akitoshi NAGAHATA
Office: bunkei-sogo-kan 706
Tel/Fax: 052-789-4702
Email: e43479a@

 The primary aims of this course are (1) to learn how innovative writers and poets in the Modernist tradition have utilized translation in their works and what kinds of thoughts on translation can be derived from their innovation; (2) to learn about various thoughts about translation; and (3) learn how to analyze and appreciate innovative literary texts and cultural products.

Prerequisite: none.

Course description:
 In this course, students will learn and discuss how innovative poets and writers in the Modernist tradition have utilized translation and expressions in foreign languages in the composition of their works. The special focus will be on Ezra Pound, especially his translation and use of Japanese and Chinese literature, but we will also pay attention to other poets and writers including H.D., Kenneth Rexroth, Rosmarie Waldrop, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Yoko Tawada and Caroline Bergvall, and discuss how they use translation and expressions in foreign languages and what kinds of meanings -- literary, linguistic, socio-political -- can be found in each of the examples.

Tentative schedule and readings:

Date Topic(s) Readings Additional readings; Internet links
1. (10.2) Introduction and Registration



2. (10.9)

Modernism and translation

・Patterson, “Global America Revisited”
・Yao, “’every allegedly great age’”

3. (10.16) Ezra Pound 1 (Biography; Troubadour)

Pound biography (Poetry Foundation)
・Born, "War Song"
・Pound, "Sestina: Altaforte"(Academy of American Poets)
・Pound, “Histrion”

□ video: “Ezra Pound Documentary 1/4
□ video: "Ezra Pound Intelligenza Scomoda del Novecento"
□ audio: "Sestina: Altaforte" (Open Culture)

4. (10.23) Ezra Pound 2 (Imagism and haiku)

・Pound, "Vorticism" (The Fortnight Review) [excerpt (Modern American Poetry)]
・Pound, "In a Station of the Metro" (Bartleby)
・Pound, “A Retrospect”
"Des Imagistes: An Anthology" [Glebe 1.5] (The Modernist Journals Project)

□ ---, On "In a Station of the Metro" (Modern American Poetry)
5. (10.30) Ezra Pound 3 (Fenollosa manuscripts; Cathay)

・Fenollosa manuscripts
・Pound, Cathay (“Song of the Bowmen of Shu”; “The River Merchant’s Wife: A Letter”; “Separation on the River Kiang”)(California Digital Library)
・Yao, “’to-day’s men are not the men of the old days’” (Ch. 1)

On "The River-Merchant's Wife: A Letter" (Modern American Poetry)
Other Translations of "A River Merchant's Wife" (Modern American poetry)
Fenollosa, "Chinese Written Character as a Medium for Poetry" (Project Gutenberg)

6. (11.6) Ezra Pound 4 (Noh plays)

Awoi no Uye (DVD)
・Pound, Certain Noble Plays of Japan (Project Gutenberg)

Awoi no Uye (U of Virginia)
Aoi no Ue (Lady Aoi) (the 能 .com)
□ Nagahata, "Pound's Reception of Noh Reconsidered: The Image and the Voice.Ezra Pound, Language and Persona
7. (11.13) Ezra Pound 5 (The Cantos)

・Pound, "Canto I"(Academy of American Poets)
・Pound, "Canto IV" (Poetry Foundation)

□ audio: "Canto I" (PennSound)
□ audio: "Canto IV" (PenSound)

8. (11.20) W. B. Yeats

・Yeats, Hawk’s Well

9. (11.27) Louis Zukofsky

・Zukofsky, “A”-9
・Pound, "Canto XXXVI"
・Pound, How to Read (excerpt)
・Cavalcanti, "Donna mi priegha"


10. (12.4) Basil Bunting

・Bunting, "Chomei at Toyama" (Poetry Foundation)
・Kamo no Chomei, Hojoki

Publishing Basil Bunting's "Chomei at Toyama" (Library News, U of Chocago)

11. (12.11) Gary Snyder
Kenneth Rexroth,

・Snyder, The Back Country
・Rexroth, The Love Poems of Marichiko

[12.18] Class canceled.    
(1.8, 3rd period)
Theresa Hak Kyung Cha ・Cha, Dictee  
13. (1.15) Rosmarie Waldrop

・Williams, A Key into the Language of America (Ch. VI)
・Waldrop, A Key into the Language of America (Ch. VI)

□ Williams, A Key into the Language of America (Library of Congress)

14. (1.22) Yoko Tawada

・Tawada, “St. George and the Translator”

15. (1.29) Caroline Bergvall ・Bergvall, Via  

* 1st paper: due 1.13
* 2nd paper: due early February (TBA)

Evaluation criteria: Class participation (10%), oral presentations + position papers (20%), a mid-term paper [a book report] (30%) and a final paper (40%).

Internet resources
・Ezra Pound, New Selected Poems and Translations (2nd ed.) (New Directions, 2010 [ISBN: 978-0811217330]) is recommended.

Reading materials:

  • Bunting, Basil. “Chomei at Toyama.” Poetry (September 1933).
  • Cha, Theresa Hak Kyung. Dictee. 1982. Berkeley, CA: Third Woman, 1995.
  • Fenollosa, Ernest. “Chinese Written Character as a Medium for Poetry.” Pound, Instigations of Ezra Pound together with an Essay on the Chinese Written Character by Ernest Fenollosa. New York: Boni and Liveright, 1920.
  • Patterson, Anita. “Global America Revisited: Ezra Pound, Yone Noguchi, and Modernist Japonisme.” Nanzan Review of American Studies 33 (2011): 53-69.
  • Pound, Ezra. Gaudier-Brzeska: A Memoir. 1916. New York: New Directions, 1970.
  • ---. New Selected Poems and Translations, 2nd ed. Ed. Richard Sieburth. New York: New Directions, 2010.
  • Rexroth, Kenneth. The Love Poems of Marichiko. The Complete Poems of Kenneth Rexroth. Copper Canyon, 2004.
  • Tawada Yoko. “St. George and the Translator.” Trans. Margaret Mitsutani. Facing the Bridge. New York: New Directions, 2007.
  • Waldrop, Rosmarie. A Key into the Language of America. New York: New Directions, 1997.
  • Williams, Roger. A Key into the Language of America. 1664, Cosimo Classics, 2010.
  • Yao, Steven G. “’every allegedly great age’: Modernism and the Practice of Literary Translation.” Translation and the Languages of modernism: Gender, “Politics,” Language. New York: Palgrave, 2002. 1-22.
  • Zukofsky, Louis. “A.” New York: New Directions, 2011.

For further reading (under construction):

  • Baker, Mona, ed. Critical Readings in Translation Studies. New York: Routledge, 2010.
  • Venuti, Lawrence, ed. The Translatoin Studies Reader, 2nd ed. New York: Routledge, 2004.

Useful websites:

(last update:2014.11.28)