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The TORCH Creative Multilingualism Network is hosting a lunchtime talk on Unconstrained Translation with Ulrike Draesner and Dennis Duncan. A free lunch will be provided from 12.30.

Often translation is conceived of as a constrained activity, an act of duty: translations are children who can only ever be a disappointment to their parents. But what about when translation is let off the leash, when the parents are out of the picture? Here translation becomes a mode of writing, the catalyst for acts of inventiveness and literary creativity: translating one's own writing; promoting peripheral features of the source – sound, syntax, metre; running the same text through successive translations. This discussion looks at literature that takes translation as its starting point for writing that is both constrained and unconstrained.

Ulrike Draesner is a prize-winning writer of novels, short stories, critical essays and poetry. In 2014 she was longlisted for the German Book Prize for her novel Sieben Sprünge vom Rand der Welt. She is currently Visiting Fellow at New College and Writer in Residence at Oxford, and giving this year’s prestigious Frankfurt Lectures in Poetics.

Dennis Duncan is a Junior Research Fellow in English and a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow. His current research project concerns the history of the book index, from the Middle Ages to the age of the Kindle. Alongside this, he writes about translation, and about the European avant-garde, particularly the Oulipo and the Collège de ’Pataphysique.

Tickets are free but booking is required. Book here.


Creative Multilingualism

Contact name: Katy Terry

Contact email: katy.terry@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk

Audience: Open to all