Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet and the Job of the Translator

Event Date & Time
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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. 

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