Tuesday, April 8, 2014

1001 nights

There's something very Oriental-cliché, very Scheherezade-like about all these literary festival tents that are sprouting over campus - though I'll miss the festival itself, since I'll be in Princeton, grappling with Democracy and the Novel, and more specifically with the problem of the Voice of the People in C19th fiction - and whether such a voice is reducible to a question of words uttered, or is something more embodied, more - well, I think I'll have to borrow from Jameson's latest - more affect-like (I should add - I'm a respondent, and these aren't terms and topics that I'm cooking up for myself).  I thought I'd fill part of my 10 minutes by addressing the issue through the translation of dialect in C19th British fiction into French, only to find that the nearest copies of Marie Barton and Nord et Sud are in the Bibliotheque Nationale, and - though this might be more to the point - when Wuthering Heights was first translated in 1892 (as L'Amant - not as the wonderful title it's subsequently borne, Les Hauts de Hurlevent), the problem of Joseph's impenetrably thick Yorkshire speech was coped with very practically - by leaving it out ...

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