Writing Through: Translations and Variations
Author: Jerome Rothenberg
Publisher: Wesleyan (2004)
Jerome Rothenberg is one of the major poets of his generation. His work in ethnopoetics, Native American and tribal poetics, Jewish identities, avant-garde poetry, and experimental translation is vital to contemporary poetry and literary studies. Writing Through couples Rothenberg's translations from a variety of non-English sources with his thought-provoking commentary. It also includes a selection of his poetry ("Otherings & Variations") in which the language of significant others forms the basis of original compositions. The result is a lively and unique anthology which illustrates how poetry, like translation, can be viewed as an act of "writing through" the words of others. Translated poets in Writing Through include Celan, Lorca, Nezval, Schwitters, Picasso and Gomringer. The book also includes Rothenberg's radical translations from oral poetries, "variations" derived from the vocabularies of translated poems, and a series of "gematria poems" employing a traditional form of Jewish numerology. In addition to Rothenberg's groundbreaking essay on "total translation," the book is interspersed with his helpful commentaries and notes, which illuminate a major aspect of his total poetics.