" On Tranzlaytin Howmer " : The Iliad in Birmingham hexameters – domesticating foreignization in non-standard verse translation

Abstract : This paper examines how a ‘Birmingham’ version of Homer’s Iliad – one composed in a Brummie dialect and, ironically, ‘a cheap, showy, imitation’ – challenges the terms of Lawrence Venuti’s valuable distinction between domesticating and foreignizing translation strategies. In particular, by employing Matthew Arnold’s imitation of Greek hexameter (another Brummagem element), which Yopie Prins calls ‘an instrument of defamiliarization’, the offered translations reveal how wrong Venuti was to use Arnold’s undeniable elitism as a pretext for entirely dismissing his foreignizing credentials. Perhaps Venuti’s oversight is to be expected; the Iliad has long been a locus for the confusion of the familiar and the unfamiliar, the authentic and the inauthentic, the noble and the ignoble, the poetic and the unpoetic. Dialect translation merely magnifies this ambivalence. Meanwhile, the ideological prejudices behind the supposedly æsthetic rejection of a language variety spoken by the urban, industrial, working-class as a medium for epic poetry are besieged, like the walls of Troy.
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Submitted on : Monday, July 10, 2017 - 3:58:11 PM
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Sam Trainor. " On Tranzlaytin Howmer " : The Iliad in Birmingham hexameters – domesticating foreignization in non-standard verse translation. The meanings of dialects in English poetry - from late 19th century to early 21st century, Cecille EA 4074; Université de Lille, May 2017, Lille, France. ⟨hal-01559327⟩

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