Some Ideas for Thinking about World Literature

I’ve been poring over some materials I’ve used in workshops on ‘Literature in Translation,’ and thought it might be useful to share some of these resources and add in a frequent question about the Written Assignments. These articles are variable in their weightiness, but there are likely to at least be bits and pieces that you may find useful for deepening your own thinking or some ideas to explore in your classes.

I like the following for its range of views and one or another may tie in nicely with a work or a writer you are teaching:

The notion of ‘reading the world’ certainly aligns with our inclusion of works in translation and I would guess you’ll find a good number of unfamiliar works with potential, maybe, for inclusion in Part 4. Very few of these appear on the PWL, extensive as it may be.

Your guide to reading the world

I think there are some insights here relevant to your teaching of poets on the PWL; worth either a skim or a nice leisurely read.

What We Can Learn From Multiple Translations of the Same Poem

And finally, a trenchant review by Tim Parks of the recent Korean novel, The Vegetarian, which raises those issues of register and idiom that inevitably occur with literary translation.  You can read this in The New York Review of Books by entering his name and the name of the novel.

And one last reminder, since the question often seems to come up:

Here is the answer given by IB answers on WA word count:

‘Everything contained within the body of the text is counted in the word count. The cover sheet, bibliography, references and footnotes are not counted. If works are quoted within the text then the quotations would be counted. On top of the main essay there is also have a reflective statement of 300-400 words. This is in addition to the 1500 words.’ (This excludes the title, presumably.) N.B.: caution students about avoiding the word count limit by putting their supporting textual quotations in footnotes!



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