演題：Yakusha atogaki: Defining the genre of translator commentary in Japan
Translator commentary practices in Japan (yakusha atogaki or translator afterwords) follow patterns that diverge from those seen in European and American publishing. Yakusha atogaki appear with far greater frequency in a broad range of literary genres, are written by translators at all stages of their careers rather than just established agents, and consistently eschew the topic of translation itself. Such practices combine to give literary translators access to a writing platform where they can engage in a wide range of actions, including self-imaging and direct address to readers, in addition to performing the informative, critical, and normative functions generally recognized in translator-authored texts (Dimitriu 2009). These practices would seem to be a significant asset for translator agency and visibility, but they have received little attention to date. This talk attempts a comprehensive portrayal of the yakusha atogaki genre as a convention in contemporary publishing. Based on a random sample of contemporary translator afterwords in works of literature, it defines the genre from four aspects: frequency in regard to literary genre, external features (length, headings, location), internal features (register, topics, organization), and functions. The objective is to reveal the framework of practices within which translators engage in first-person writing, staking positions as agents in the literary field.
演題：Translation Is the Child: Rationalizing Refabrications of Japanese Poetry
Translating Japanese poetry into English poses particular challenges. With regards to translating Western language poetry into English, the scholarly discussion has largely moved beyond the questions of choosing between fidelity and license or between domestication and foreignization; the former had been a traditional paradigm through the mid-twentieth century until it was reconfigured in part by Walter Benjamin’s “The Task of the Translator,” while the latter discussion was triggered by the publication of Lawrence Venuti's The Translator’s Invisibility in 1995. When it comes to the translation of Japanese poetry, however, these questions continue to haunt - for good reason, given the linguistic and cultural differences between English and Japanese - alongside the current scholarly preoccupation: the misgivings over cultural appropriation.
The result of this development has been a quiet push toward literalism. Following a brief survey of radical translations, this paper presents a partial rationalization of the translational practice that has been characterized as “refabrications”: translations that are so licentious as to diverge markedly from the original. This mode of translation has been practiced by many, particularly by modern and contemporary American poets; examples include Hilda Doolittle’s translations of Sappho and Robert Lowell’s book of translation entitled Imitations. Based on an examination of the translations of poems such as those of Hagiwara Sakutaro and Tanikawa Shuntaro, this paper makes two arguments. The first of the two theses is that refabrications, when administered judiciously, can enliven Japanese poems that may otherwise be rendered lifeless by more conservative translations.
The second of the two theses of this paper is that, while refabrications may be criticized as the translator’s egotism or acts of cultural appropriation, one may circumvent those concerns by theorizing poetic translation as the “child” and by placing the responsibility of cultural sensitivity onto the readers as well as the translators. While poetry isn’t untranslatable as some theorists have asserted, poetic translations can often more profitably be regarded as an offspring of the original: a work independent from the original, just as a child is born of the parents but remains a separate human being. This view of poetic translation not only encourages inventiveness from translators but also engages readers as active participants in translational processes. In this sense, translation theory exists to be studied by both the practitioners and the recipients; developing an ethical sensitivity becomes a responsibility shared between the translators and the readers.
（いずれの発表も英語、Ｑ＆Ａは日英両語で行います）Presentations in English with a bilingual Q&A.
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