Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet and the Job of the Translator
Public lecture via Zoom by Damion Searls.
Rilke's famous letters of advice and consolation have been beloved for decades and translated many times; the 2020 translation by Damion Searls is the first to include the recently rediscovered letters from the "Young Poet" to Rilke, making the correspondence a true dialogue for the first time. In this event, Searls will read from both sides of the correspondence and discuss how the rediscovered letters from Franz-Xaver Kappus change our understanding of Rilke's own letters; he will also discuss some of the challenges this posed for editing, presenting, and translating the book. Should Rilke's classic ten letters be presented as a whole, or in alternation with Kappus's? How can the book appeal to new readers as well as re-readers interested in the new material? How do these editorial decisions turn into translation decisions?
Presented by the Center for Austrian Studies. Cosponsored by the Department of German, Nordic, Slavic & Dutch, the Center for German & European Studies, and the Department of Cultural Studies & Comparative Literature.