The Poetry of Prose, the Unyielding of Sound

Gordana P. Crnković

in The Sound of Poetry / The Poetry of Sound

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2009 | ISBN: 9780226657424
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226657448 | DOI:
The Poetry of Prose, the Unyielding of Sound

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  • Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)


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In the case of poetry, there are challenges, such as no translation that are accepted can approximate the texture and substance of a Dickinson lyric. In the case of prose, specifically contemporary prose fiction, it is generally assumed that the translation is the novel. The fiction of Eastern Europe is known in the anglophone world almost exclusively in translation. The “incomprehensibility” of language (as only referential, literal) works in different ways that is developed by intense sound patterning. The writing of an individual challenges the authoritative communal text and speech, by itself claiming the space of orality as the space of the social. If poetry and prose are not separate, if it is actually not the case that, in prose, a word merely “means what it says,” then the awareness of as well as sensitivity and allegiance to this incomprehensible enchantment of the sound of poetry, which plays tricks with the meaning of words, has to be a more assertive part of every prose translator's tools.

Keywords: poetry; translation; prose; fiction; incomprehensibility; orality; translator's tools

Chapter.  6523 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

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