Literary Modernism and the Avant-Garde / Pragmatics in Verbal Expression b (2016)

@@Subtitle: Innovative Writing and Translation


Credits: 2
Day/Period: Friday 3rd period (13:00-14:30)
Classroom: Integrated Humanities Building 623
Instructor: Akitoshi NAGAHATA
Office: Integrated Humanities Building 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; and (2) learn various ways 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 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 Kenneth Rexroth, Rosmarie Waldrop, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Yoko Tawada, Caroline Bergvall and Kenneth Goldsmith. We will discuss how they use translation and expressions in foreign languages and what thoughts and ideas about translation and the use of foreign languages of meanings are expressed in each example.

   Every week the participants will be assigned the reading materials shown in the class schedule below. One participant will be selected as the designated commentator for a particular text. He or she will write a comment paper about the assigned text and post it to the class mailing list one day before the meeting of the class. The other participants will read the assigned texts and the comment papers before coming to the classroom. In the classroom the designated commentator(s) will introduce the author and the background of the text, give its summary and start a discussion by presenting his/her comments orally.

Tentative schedule and reading assignments:

Date Topic(s) Readings Additional readings; Internet links
1. (10.7) Introduction and Registration



2. (10.14)

Modernism and translation

EYao, “’every allegedly great age’”

3. (10.21) Ezra Pound 1 (Biography; Troubadour)

EPound biography (Poetry Foundation)
EPound, “Sestina: Altaforte”
E___, “Histrion”
EBertrand de Born (trans. Pound), "A War Song"
EBernart de Ventadorn (trans. Pound), "The Lark"

video: “Ezra Pound Documentary 1/4
The Spirit of Romance (de Born section)
4. (10.28)

Ezra Pound 2 (Imagism and Haiku)

EPound, "Vorticism" (The Fortnight Review) [excerpt (Modern American Poetry)]
E___, "In a Station of the Metro" (Bartleby)
E___, “A Retrospect” and "A Few Don'ts"(Poetry Foundation)

"Des Imagistes: An Anthology" [Glebe 1.5] (The Modernist Journals Project)
---, On "In a Station of the Metro" (Modern American Poetry)

5. (11.4) Mexican haiku    
6. (11.11) Ezra Pound 2 (Fenollosa manuscripts; Cathay)

EFenollosa manuscripts
EPound, Cathay

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)
Yao, “’to-day’s men are not the men of the old days’” (Ch. 1)

7. (11.18) Ezra Pound 3 (Noh plays)

EAwoi no Uye (DVD)
EAwoi no Uye (U of Virginia)

Aoi no Ue (Lady Aoi) (the \ .com)
Aoi no Uye (U of Virginia)
Pound, Certain Noble Plays of Japan (Project Gutenberg)
Nagahata, "Pound's Reception of Noh Reconsidered: The Image and the Voice.Ezra Pound, Language and Persona
8. (11.25) Ezra Pound 4 (The Cantos)

EPound, "Canto III"(Academy of American Poets)
EPound, "Canto XLV" (Poetry Foundation)
EPound, "Canto XLIX"

IX "Three Cantos: III" (Bartleby)
audio: "Canto XLV" (PennSound)
On "Canto 45" (Modern American Poetry)
Mark Byron, "Ezra Pound's 'Seven Lakes' Canto: Poetry and Painting, from East to West"

9. (12.2) T. S. Eliot

EEliot, The Waste Land (Bartleby)

audio: "The Waste Land" (T S Eliot Society)
On "The Waste Land" (Modern American Poetry)
Eliot, "Ulysses, Myth, and Order" (U of Virnginia)
Eliot, "Tradition and the Individual Talent" (Bartleby)
Eliot, "Hamlet and His Problems" (Bartleby)

10. (12.9) Basil Bunting

EBunting, "Chomei at Toyama" (Poetry Foundation)
EKamo no Chomei, Hojoki

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

11. (12.16) Gary Snyder and Kenneth Rexroth

ESnyder, The Back Country {Miyazawa Kenji]
Rexroth, The Love Poems of Marichiko

12. (1.13) Theresa Hak Kyung Cha ECha, Dictee  
13. (1.20) Rosmarie Waldrop EWilliams, A Key into the Language of America (Ch. VI)
EWaldrop, A Key into the Language of America (Ch. VI)
Williams, A Key into the Language of America (Library of Congress)
14. (1.27)
Yoko Tawada ETawada, “St. George and the Translator”  
15. (2.3) Caroline Bergvall and Kenneth Goldsmith

EBergvall, Via
EGoldsmith, Against Translation


* 1st paper: due 12.23
* 2nd paper: due early February (TBA)

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

Internet resources
EEzra 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
  • Eliot, T. S. The Complete Poems and Plays, 1909-1969. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovic, 1971.
  • 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
  • Goldsmith, Kenneth. Against Translation: Displacement Is the New Translation. Jean Boîte, 2016.
  • 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.
  • ___. Ezra Pound: Poems and Translations. Ed. Richard Sieburth. New York: Library of America, 2003.
  • Rexroth, Kenneth. The Love Poems of Marichiko. The Complete Poems of Kenneth Rexroth. Copper Canyon, 2004.
  • Synder, Gary. The Back Country. New York: New Directions, 1967.
  • 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. New York: Cosimo Classics, 2010.
  • Yao, Steven G. Translation and the Languages of modernism: Gender, “Politics,” Language. New York: Palgrave, 2002. 1-22.

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:

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