About

Poetic translations is a platform facilitating discussions about how the different arts translate across disciplines and their engagement with contemporary debates and concerns. In this context the term ‘translation’ is taken from Walter Benjamin through Jacques Derrida’s interpretation, which can be read as yet another translation in a long lines of poetic translations. Translation, as Derrida points out, implies a hierarchy: the translation is generally perceived as secondary to the translated material. The translator is thus always indebted to the text/material which is translated, and to its author. And yet, the translator also transforms the translated material and makes it relevant for a different context. The act of translation involves a level of betrayal analogous to the betrayal of the ‘creative act’ it translates (each creative work betrays a tradition through the creative moment). For the ‘creative act’, by definition, introduces an innovative moment. It is this ‘poetic’ innovation, Benjamin insists, in which ‘the unfathomable, the mysterious, the “poetic”, can be reproduced; but only if the translator is also a poet [artist]’.