Public Lecture

Dr. Anna Fyta on Hilda Doolittle, Richard Aldington, and the Poets' Translation Series

September 15, 2017
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The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Centre for Hellenic Studies, in collaboration with the Department of English, is pleased to present a seminar by Dr. Anna Fyta, entitled "Translation as Poetic Praxis: H.D., Richard Aldington and The Poets’ Translation Series from the Greek Anthology."

Date: Sept. 15, 2017

Time: 2:00pm
Campus: SFU Burnaby
Room: Academic Quadrangle 6106

This event is free, but seating is limited, please RSVP to hscomm@sfu.ca

Abstract

The lecture focuses on the modernist lyric poem as the offshoot of ancient Greek poetry. Lyric poetry has a long-standing tradition in the Western world though its value has often been denigrated as opposed to prose, drama and epic poetry. A controversial sub-genre of poetic speech, at the verge of the oral, the written and the performative, the lyric poem has, nevertheless, been instrumental in a poet’s evolutionary stages or in Jonathan Culler’s words, it is a poet’s response to his predecessors. Between 1915 and 1919, a time of reform and renewal of language and poetry, a group of avant-garde Modernist poets, including Hilda Doolittle (H.D.), her husband Richard Aldington and a team of fellow modernist authors and poets, run a series of publications titled The Poets’ Translation Series under the auspices of the Egoist Press. In these editions, the poets attempt to extend the principles of the modernist manifesto proposed by Ezra Pound to “make [poetry] new” by producing creative, poetic translations of Classical texts. The lecture traces the itinerary of these modernists and H.D.’s experimentations with Greek lyric poetry, the epigram and the choral ode. Whereas Aldington and Edward Storer seek alternative crib translations to epigrams and lyrics from The Greek Anthology and Sappho, H.D. works with lyric poetry and Euripides’ choral odes investigating the raisons d’être of interpretive translation.