Posted: Wednesday Oct 17, 2012
Oct. 17, 2012
Peruvian poet Eduardo Chirinos and his translator, Gary Racz, will be the next presentation in the Saint Vincent College Visiting Writers Series at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 22 in the Fred M. Rogers Center. Admission is free and open to the public. The bilingual reading will be followed by a question and answer session regarding the challenges of translation. Readers from all disciplines are encouraged to attend.
Mr. Chirinos was born in the Peruvian capital of Lima in 1960. He was the oldest of five siblings and grew up in a house without any books. Reflecting on the paradoxical origins of his writing, he commented, “Poetry is a fate which one either accepts or does not.”
He studied linguistics and cultural studies at the Catholic University in Lima and completed his doctoral studies in Spanish literature at Rutgers University in New Jersey. Following several guest professorships in Venezuela and the United States, he now lives in Missoula, where since 2000 he has taught literature at the University of Montana.
Mr. Racz commented that his interest in literary translation is a natural outgrowth of his training as a comparatist. “The study of literatures across linguistic and cultural boundaries, along with a firm grounding in literary theory, has enabled me to think critically about the act of translation and to apply the theoretical insights I have gleaned directly to practice. While I have translated a 19th century Spanish novel and a contemporary play in my two decades as a working translator, my focus always has been on poetic texts. I try to keep my hand in both the peninsular and Latin American camps, and have translated both canonical and contemporary works. My specialization, the analogical rendering of meter and rhyme (where it appears), challenges the dominant methodologies in the field of translation studies. I hope to delineate the advantages of this poetics in my work in progress, “Approaches to Translating Poetry,” which is under contract with Multilingual Matters.
In addition to his duties in the department of foreign language and literature at Long Island University’s Brooklyn Campus, Mr. Racz continues to teach Spanish translation during the summers in the translation and interpretation certification program at Rutgers University. He also serves as vice president of the American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) and as book review editor for Translation Review. (Long Island University).
This presentation was supported in part by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. These grant funds are administered in this region by the Pennsylvania Rural Arts Alliance.
Photo: Eduardo Chirinos
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