On Illustration, on Translation

September 3, 2014 Comments Off on On Illustration, on Translation

On Illustration, on Translation

The work of the illustrator, like that of the translator, is that of the medium.  It lies in interpreting a text and moving it into another format.  Ideally this interpretation captures the voice of the original work, while also rendering it comprehensible and believable in the new language.  So, Dorothée Piffard and I have grappled over a worthy translation of her poems.  How easy it is to render a poem too polished in translation, to smooth out the inconsistencies, the incongruencies, the imperfections that it might sound pleasing to the English-speaker’s ear.  How right Dorothée is to fight for the stutters, the stumbling language, the blunders, the clumsiness in the original tongue.  We have decided to publish Pamphlet No.3 The OBVERSE in a bilingual edition that this act of translation might be all the more explicit.

In another vein, Tommy Butt has spent a year working on his illustrations for Hugh Lupton’s poems (Pamphlet No. 1 DERWEN).  His series of drawings throw further light on the art of translation.  While each drawing is an apt response, an artistic foray into the very meaning of the poems, each drawing is also different.  His work serves to underline the possibility available to the illustrator as translator, for the variations are multiple and in Tommy’s case each as beautiful, each as apt as the next.  Tommy’s work will be exhibited at Dow House on the evening of 22.xi.14.  R.S.V.P. essential to oceheal[at]gmail[dot]com

at the well

At The Well, drawing by Tommy Butt


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