Translator, Touretter: Avant-Garde Translation and the Touretter Sublime


Experimental translation has been surging in popularity recently—with avant-garde translation at the combative forefront. But how to do it? How to read it?
Translator, Touretter plays on the Italian dictum traduttore, traditore—“translator, traitor”—to mobilize the affective intensity of Tourettic tics as a practical guide to making and reading avant-garde translations. It smashes the theoretical literature on the sublime from Longinus to Kant into Motherless Brooklyn, both the 1999 novel by Jonathan Lethem and its 2019 screen adaptation by Edward Norton, in order to generate out of their collision a series of models—visual, aural/oral, and kinesthetic—for avant-garde literary translation.

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Douglas Robinson is Professor of Translation Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen. His recent scholarly work on experimental translation includes The Experimental Translator, largely inspired by his own experiments in translating Finnish authors, especially Gulliver’s Voyage to Phantomimia by Volter Kilpi (2020).
Postgraduate students and professors of translation studies, literary studies, and the avant-garde.
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