The Translation and Transmission of Concrete Poetry  book cover
1st Edition

The Translation and Transmission of Concrete Poetry

ISBN 9781032086125
Published June 30, 2021 by Routledge
244 Pages 58 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This volume addresses the global reception of "untranslatable" concrete poetry. Featuring contributions from an international group of literary and translation scholars and practitioners, working across a variety of languages, the book views the development of the international concrete poetry movement through the lens of "transcreation", that is, the informed, creative response to the translation of playful, enigmatic, visual texts. Contributions range in subject matter from ancient  Greek and Chinese pattern poems to modernist concrete poems from the Americas, Europe and Asia. This challenging body of experimental work offers creative challenges and opportunities to literary translators and unique pleasures to the sympathetic reader. Highlighting the ways in which literary influence is mapped across languages and borders, this volume will be of interest to students and scholars of experimental poetry, translation studies and comparative literature.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements & Notes on Contributors


John Corbett

Chapter 1: Concrete Poetry, Playfulness and Translation

Susan Bassnett

Chapter 2: The Origins of the Untranslatable: The Earliest Western Visual Poetry

Juliana Di Fiori Pondian

Chapter 3: Concrete Poetry in China: Form, Content, Theme and Function

Li Li

Chapter 4: Writing and Translating Concrete Poetry in Chinese Characters

Chen Li

Chapter 5: The Structures of Chance: Transcreating Noigandres ideogramas into English

Claus Clüver

Chapter 6: Transcreation without Borders

K. David Jackson

Chapter 7: Edwin Morgan as Transcreator

Ting Huang

Chapter 8: Constellations and ideograms: Eugen Gomringer’s multilingual concrete poetry

Raquel Abi-Samara

Chapter 9: The Intermedial Recoding of Tradition in Augusto de Campos’ intraduções

Simone Homem de Mello

Chapter 10: Concrete North America: Some Questions of Reception

Odile Cisneros

Chapter 11: Mapping the International Concrete Poetry Network

John Corbett

Chapter 12: Metaphor and Material in Concrete Poetry

Chris McCabe


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John Corbett is a CAPES International Fellow and Visiting Professor in the Department of Modern Languages at the University of Sao Paulo. His numerous books and articles include Language and Scottish Literature (1997) and Written in the Language of the Scottish Nation: A History of Literary Translation into Scots (1999).

Ting Huang is a literary translator and doctoral candidate in the English Department of the University of Macau, where she took an MA in Translation Studies in the Portuguese Department and her Bachelor’s degree in Portuguese Studies. She has translated Azul Corvo, by the Brazilian novelist, Adriana Lisboa (2019).