On 28 and 29 September, the Tartu Literature House (Vanemuise 19) will host the conference “Belletristic translation: a means of cultural-spiritual dialogue or a tool of acculturation?” where the fascinating base of discussion will be Juhan Liiv’s posthumously (in 1927) published poem “Puusärk (A Coffin)”.
In the poem “Puusärk” the poet compares rewriting, i.e. translation to a coffin—“a job for hard times that wastes young life and young imagination”.
The opening presentation of the 11th international conference of the Estonian Association of Comparative Literature is given by Professor at the University of Georgia in USA Dorothy Figueira who will talk about the missionary work of translation against the background of newer discussions on world literature and comparative literature research.
“At the conference we will discuss translation as a process and one of the main levers of spiritual communication between cultures. Parallel to this we will cover the practical questions of belletristic translation: what does it take to be a good translator—one whose work would not be “a job most cruel” as Juhan Liiv heavily criticised in his poem but instead would enhance the unhindered spread of essential literature and culture which excite spirituality and intensify sensitivity,” said Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Tartu Jüri Talvet.
The working language of the conference is English. There will be presentations by scholars from the USA, France, Germany, Lithuania, Latvia, Russia, Spain, Ireland and Estonia.
Additional information: Jüri Talvet, Professor of Comparative Literature at University of Tartu, tel.: 55568050, e-mail: talvet [ät] ut.ee