Commentaries

Gone today

Justin Quinn and the gift of the translator

In his late work On Translation (2005), the French phenomenologist and literary theorist Paul Ricoeur brings together his lifelong investigations into ethics with a re-reading of Walter Benjamin's "The Task of the Translator" (1923). Ricoeur theorizes translation as a "correspondence without adequacy," urging us to give up on the idea of a perfect translation:

C. S. Giscombe in the Line Reading Series, 2002

New at PennSound

Thanks to PennSound staffer Hannah Judd, we are now making available the poem-by-poem segmentation of C. S. Giscombe's September 24, 2002, reading for the Line Reading Series. To hear many more readings by Giscombe, consult his PennSound author page.

  1. Introduction (1:29): MP3
  2. Favorite Haunt (1:57): MP3
  3. Fever (2:14): MP3
  4. A Train at Night (2:00): MP3
  5. Prairie Style (1:47): MP3
  6. Nature Boy (1:43): MP3
  7. Ballad Values (0:34): MP3
  8. Indianapolis, Indiana (8:38): MP3
  9. The Negro in Indiana (0:52): MP3
  10. Wild Cards (0:49): MP3
  11. The Traveling Public (5:17): MP3

Poems for the Millennium, volume 5: Barbaric Vast & Wild, now published & available from Black Widow Press

POEMS FOR THE MILLENNIUM, VOLUME 5: Barbaric Vast & Wild: An Assemblage of Outside & Subterranean Poetry from Origins to Present
Edited with commentaries by Jerome Rothenberg and John Bloomberg-Rissman

Nikki Sheppy: three new poems

For many, Calgary poet Nikki Sheppy appeared out of nowhere when she won the 2013 John Lent Poetry-Prose Award, the result of which was published as the limited edition letterpress chapbook, Grrrrlhood: a ludic suite (Kalamalka, 2014).

Bright arrogance #3

Benjamin, Translation, and the Sacred Sound

It is a common misconception that Walter Benjamin’s writings on translation, specifically “The Task of the Translator,” support and even found a translation practice that calls itself “experimental.” This couldn’t be further from the truth.