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SYMPOSIUM: TRANSLATION AND …
Saturday 9 November 2013, 2-5pm
Boyd Assembly Hall, 207-229 City Road, Southbank, Melbourne
Admission is free but it is necessary to book.
Email Elaine Lewis or phone 03 9614 0494.
Literary translation is a peculiarly intense form of reading and creative writing, and from there stimulates other forms of creative practice. Many great writers have been translators – nowhere more so than in early twentieth-century China, where translation was a primary vehicle for new, unprecedented ideas. Late twentieth-century ideas in the human sciences in the English-speaking world have evolved from translation too, largely from translations of French thinkers. Translation is a medium for the generation of the new, sharing common ground with creative writing. How does this happen in a workshop setting? The pedagogical question demands experimental answers as more writers are working across cultures to express themselves.
Nicholas Jose was born in 1952 in London, to Australian parents. The following year his parents returned to Australia with him. He grew up in Broken Hill, Traralgon, Perth and mostly Adelaide, South Australia. He studied at the Australian National University, Canberra, and Magdalen College, Oxford. From 1986 to 1990 he worked in Shanghai and Beijing, where he taught at Beijing Foreign Studies University and East China Normal University, 1986-87, and was Cultural Counsellor at the Australian Embassy, Beijing from 1987‐1990. Nicholas Jose co‐translated The Finish Line by Sang Ye (1994) and The Ape Herd by Mang Ke (included in Poems for the Millennium, 1998). He has been a member of the Australia‐China Council, the Literature Board of the Australia Council for the Arts, and The Big Book Club Inc., and is currently a board member of the Australian Experimental Art Foundation.
Subtitle translation is the least glamorous job in one of the world’s most glamorous professions. Likened by one master subtitler to “playing 3-D Scrabble in two languages”, it is possibly the kind of translation in which more must be “lost” than in most. Linda Jaivin, who has subtitled such films as Farewell, My Concubine (dir. Chen Kaige), Hero (Zhang Yimou) and The Grandmaster (Wong Kar Wai) will discuss her experiences and the particular challenges and joys of this special field of translation.
Linda Jaivin is the author of eight books (six fiction, two non-fiction). A number of these have been published internationally as well as in Australia and have appeared on bestseller lists. She has also published countless essays, short stories and other writings, has had several plays produced and done a number of translations from Chinese including movie subtitles. Linda also writes on art and culture and appears from time to time on television programs such as the ABC’s Q&A and sadly defunct Critical Mass. Though she was born in New London, Connecticut, she has lived outside the US for well over half her life and has been an Australian citizen for some twenty years now. She lives in Sydney, a city she adores even if it is as shallow and hedonistic as people from Melbourne say it is. She is a visiting fellow in the School of Culture, History and Language at the College of Asia and the Pacific at the Australian National University.
How is the process of culturally “translating” an ancient Buddhist folktale into an Australian-Vietnamese refugee story set in 1980s Melbourne made problematic by writing this story in English? Chi Vu’s presentation will describe some of the postcolonial translation strategies she used in her novella Anguli Ma to respond to the tension inherent in writing from within a minority culture using the language of the dominant culture (Australian English).
Chi Vu was born in Vietnam and arrived in Australia in 1979. After completing studies at the University of Melbourne, she worked as a theatre director, writer, artistic director and arts officer. Chi’s plays include the critically acclaimed Vietnam: a Psychic Guide. Her prose works appear in various publications, including Joyful Strains: Making Australia Home, Growing Up Asian in Australia and The Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature. Her novella Anguli Ma: a Gothic Tale is published by Giramondo. Chi recently commenced a PhD as part of the Australian Research Council Discovery Project “New Transnationalisms: Australia’s Multilingual Literary Heritage”. Learn more about Chi on her website.