Chronotope: nothing to do with Star Trek

February 3, 2010

He just has… so much to say about 1001 Nights. Also can I just say I love the word chronotope? I’ve been overusing it like crazy.

Also also, this contains some strong language. Because I cannot contain my glee when Bakhtin comes up. Ignore it, please.

wednesday 2/3/10 transl theory notes
Godzich is slightly late! Don’t leave! says the chalkboard.
His flight was delayed! And then it snowed! He was in Toronto!

Aesthetic Transfer is the name of the day!

Translating Context
>Translation involves all of Jakobxon’s functions
>Focus on referential function: context
~>notions from experience and judgement
>>context as chronotope (BAKHTIN MOTHERFUCKERS.)
>>>Space and Time as categories of experience (Kant)
~~~>K says these are universal categories; B says no
>>>Historicizing and locating experience (Bakhtin)
~~~>during and imm after Russian revolution
~~~>e.g. time is different before clocks, legal firm that bills in 5min increments, banks in several timezones, suchlike.
~~~>different chronotopes for text and transl.
>>>Translating chronotopes
~~~>slightly ellided
>>>>the chronotope of the translation
>>>>anacrhonism as translating strategy
~~~~>marks a distance
>>>>exoticism as translating strategy
~~~~>stereotypes; but they change over time! in 18th century Germans were thought to be ridiculously lazy. Dutch were hardworking, Scots were enterprising, Spaniards were boasty. lolokay. Italians were thieves. Belgians/Flemings were drunkards! awwwww~

chronos = time
topos = place

Example of 18th century french shakespeare translations
~WG’s wife can recite Shakespeare at three in the morning if you wake her up. This is… good to know, I guess.
>Classical French Theatre of 17th cent:
>>Corneille; Racine; Moliere
>>Rule of the three unities (space time action) aristotle
~~>happens in less than 24hrs. Problematic for Shakes.
~~>no more than 2 spaces!
~~>one single dramatic conflict goddamn!
~~>ANY violence/death.
>non-aristotelianism of Shakespeare
>search for French context for Shakespeare
>>non-classical, therefore barbaric
>>Merovingian (5th to 8th cent.)
~~>1st king = Clovis, accepted Baptism, Solomon.
~~>the “lazy kings”
>>Desdemona>Cunegonde; Ophelia>Hildegard
~~>Merovingian names; conveys barbarism.
>>Mercutio in R/J: For the bawdy hand of the dial is now on the prick of noon. (II.4.109-110)
~>decided that it’s not worth translating in the 18th cent; not ’til Victor Hugo in 19th century writes about it and then Hugo’s son transls it.
>German 18th cent Shakes:
~>aesthetic is romantic not classical
>>August Wilhelm Schlegel
>>Ludwig Tieck (Don Quixote); Elizabethan drama
>>meanwhile literary german peaks; trying to establish links between apogees of literary traditions yo

Elf layla wa layla; 1001 Nights
~>conceit/frame story = powerful but cruel king decides women are evil; he will murder his bride day after marriage every day; daughter of vizier says to stop, offers to marry him so she’ll stop it, starts telling a story and keeps stopping with cliffhangers. 1001 consecutive nights of stories, she tells him, he pardons her and decides she can stay queen and he’ll stop killing women. Stories come from all over.
>>Masudi -grammarian; Ibn Al-Nadim -bookseller (9th cent), Baghdad
~~>booksellers classify/organize texts
>>Hazar Afsan (classical persian)
>>Panchatantra (Sanskrit)
>>Antoine Galland (1704-1711)[Syrian MS]
~~>sort of vanishes between then and this, Galland purchased MSs, keeper of royal library under Louis XIV; decided to transl Syrian MS.
>>Richard Francis Burton (1885-1888)[Egyptian MS]
~~>most influential not most readable
>>Muhsin Mahdi: Beirut 1984
>>Husain Haddawy 1990
~~>best English translation (of about 60)
>>Brazilian-Portuguese critical edition 1994

1001 Nights
>Mamelaka (dominion); Caliph
~>both political and religious authority
>>Caliphate: Damascus-> Baghdad
>>ArabĀ  culture meets Persian culture (and India)
~~>persians adopted Arabic as language of theology but still thought themselves superior culture; one of oldest continuous civilizations on earth. Iranians and Chinese sang superior kumbayah together says WG; that’s adorable.
~~>both value poetry! Persians were in contact with India all the time
>>Caliph, Mamun (813-837) and transl from Greek
>Thematics: women in leading role; perversity and cunning of women
~~>reaction against misogyny (if women have a soul it’s only so that they can sell it to the devil)
>the Frame Tale: Scheherazade and Shahryar

Waning of the Tales 1
>Arab Poetics
>>Moral lit [fables; ethics for kings; letters of Alexander the Great (Iksander)]
>>>alternating serious and pleasant material
~~~>1001 doesn’t alternate properly, ratio!
>>supremacy of poetry
>>Koranic prose: rhythmic and rhymed
~~>sacred text so very few will undertake an imitation but it has to beeeeeee wah wah
>>the “I” in poetry: a self
>>the “I” in prose: a witness
>Nights: moralizing prose; mix of genres incl poetry
~>same problem that western poetics has with the novel later on; doesn’t fit in genres

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