Themes and ideas for that class

It is exoticism, primitivism, representations and uses of the savage and the jungle, and indigenismos, and lo indígena.

I thought of giving a class on these themes again because I ran across some material on Quintín Lame, and I am thinking about the idea of Latin America, and Latin America as “entre-lugar,” and the way in which it produces itself as mestizo or hybrid.

Here is a talk on representing the Other. Here is Enrique Dussell talking about the location of Latin American culture.

There is the question of time. Time and the Other, and the idea in Los pasos perdidos that all times are mixed in Latin America. Dussell points out that the idea of the ancient, medieval and modern worlds doesn’t work anyway and is an invention of the Romantics.

There is Vasconcelos talking about the superiority of the tropics, which goes precisely with the prologue to REM.

There is the rethinking of mestizaje (note that Bolívar did not say we had to fuse, he said we were mixed and had to get along). There is race as a hybrid term. There is the current discussion, popular among students, about pinning down definitions for “Hispanic” and “Latino.”

There is Clorinda Matto, and all kinds of people who work with the other. El otro, el mismo, looking for self through other. (I am not sure yet whether or how I will do this.) I was thinking of El hablador as well.

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Pour publier ces traductions

Nuit blanche

Erudit. Journal des traducteurs [compte rendu on Silva-Santisteban]
Intralinea [translation journal]
Pusteblume. Journal of translation [article on translating Huidobro]

Tradabordo/Tradoeste [course website]

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Emma Goldman

And here I do not speak of the libertarian, Anarchist Communism. What I assert is that there is not the least sign in Soviet Russia even of authoritarian, State Communism. Let us glance at the actual facts of everyday life there.


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Archivo UNAM

– the relevant entity in UNAM is
– there is an excellent Spanish language program for foreigners:
– juniors and seniors with adequate Spanish skills can be exchange students in any major:
– It is considered the best university in the Spanish speaking world, and is among the 100 best in the world
– It is a 2 hour flight from Houston, and is in our time zone — you can also drive there or take the bus
– I am very familiar with the city and can talk about it very cogently
– F. wants to spend more time there and could look in on students and program

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Curso de teatro

Arlt, Roberto. Saverio el cruel

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A draft post

These are my scrambled notes, that I will turn into a lecture.

Do you agree with Don Quixote in the quotation below? Is a translation always an impoverishment of the original? Is the practice of translation anything beyond a mechanical exercise?

Pero, con todo esto, me parece que el traducir de una lengua en otra, como no sea de las reinas de las lenguas, griega y latina, es como quien mira los tapices flamencos por el revés, que aunque se veen las figuras, son llenas de hilos que las escurecen y no se veen con la lisura y tez de la haz; y el traducir de lenguas fáciles ni arguye ingenio ni elocución, como no le arguye el que traslada ni el que copia un papel de otro papel.” –Don Quixote en M. de Cervantes, Don Quixote II: LXII, “Que trata de la aventura de la cabeza encantada, con otras niñerías que no pueden dejar de contarse.”

What is translation? What does it involve?
What kinds of information do translations impart, and what do they distort or obscure? How and why do we make choices in the practice of translation? How do the contexts and goals of a particular translation project influence these choices? What balances between fidelity to the original and idiomatic use of the target language should one strike? Why is translation an act of interpretation? What roles does translation have in literary, linguistic and cultural studies? What is translation as a professional or technical field? What is the emerging academic field Translation Studies? >- Literary and philological perspectives on translation: translation as textual study and interpretation
– Translation, metaphor and the nature of language
– Translation and the encounter with otherness or difference

– Should translation “tame the wild tongue” (Anzaldúa), domesticate the text of the Other, or not? (perspectives from Walter Benjamin)

c/ What can translation do? What can it not do?

1. Translation as a mere technical or secretarial problem – does that perspective take into account the actual nature of language and of texts? El desprestigio de la traducción

2. Translation as interpretive activity, and as craft or art. Is translation an exact science? Or, does it raise scientific questions?

3. The role of research in translation – the question of context, embeddedness of texts in these

4. Translation, colonization, globalization; dominant and “minor” languages: translation is political

5. Translation, language, linguistics —

Meschonnic: “Par la théorie des textes qu’elle implique, la poétique de la traduction ne peut pas être une linguistique appliquée [– c’est une] poétique experimentale” (1972)

6. Writers and theorists who say surprising things, perhaps:

a. Benjamin: otherness / traces of the original in the translation

b. Borges (versiones homéricas): translation as non-secondary, as a an attribute of textuality

c. Steiner: all communication involves translation, so translation is a primary and not a secondary activity

d. Cervantes: translation is an ever-present problem


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Ideas across borders

The “transnational turn” in U.S. historiography has made scholars aware of the interdependence of U.S. history on the history of the rest of the world. It has had a particularly significant impact on intellectual and cultural history, which is now written with an eye towards international currents and contexts. This graduate readings class will present several significant examples of works that use transnational projects—some set in the borderlands, some not—to generate new insight into the history of the United States. We will use their examples to think through how borderlands history anticipates and can take advantage of the transnational turn.

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