“Self-Translations are No Translations at All” was the title of a roundtable discussion at the 2018 NEMLA in Pittsburgh, where participants discussed both their own self-translations and those by renown self-translating authors such as Nabokov and Miłes and also spatial metaphors occurring in theories of self-translation.
This creative session would build upon that discussion and in this specific format allow participants to focus on presenting their own experiences with self-translation and expound phenomena and examples of their own writings and translations to be shared with other creative writers and/or (future) self-translators. Topics to be discussed could include:
a. Decision-making in self-translation: What decisions are self-translators confronted with, and how do their decision-making processes evolve?
b. Revising, rewriting, or rewrising? How do self-translators conceive of their creative products: as revisions, rewritings, or a mixture of both? Does that stance account for all their writing or vary from text to text?
c. Voice(s) and identitie(s) in self-translation: Do self-translations create new identitie(s) in the creative writing process? How does that happen and what does that mean?
d. Transposing metaphors: What factors determine how self-translators approach the transposition of culturally charged metaphors?
e. (What) Readers in mind: Do self-translators have (ideal?) readers in mind? Who is their target audience?
This session invites creative writers and/or (future) self-translators to present and discuss final projects as well as work on the progress of their own experience with self-translation. Participants can expound phenomena and examples of their own writings and translations to be shared with other creative writers and/or (future) self-translators. The session also allows for discussion on a range of topics such as decision-making, revising, rewriting, voicing, and writing and self-translating for specific audiences.
Mona Eikel-Pohen, Ph.D., Lecturer in German, Syracuse University