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IMC 2020: Sessions

Session 151: Translations and Adaptations in Modern and Contemporary Literature and Music

Monday 6 July 2020, 11.15-12.45

Moderator/Chair:Nadia Altschul, School of Modern Languages & Cultures (Hispanic Studies), University of Glasgow
Paper 151-aTranslating Marco Polo
(Language: English)
Gang Zhou, Department of Foreign Languages & Literatures, Louisiana State University
Index terms: Historiography - Modern Scholarship, Language and Literature - Comparative, Language and Literature - Other
Paper 151-bTranscending Borders through Translation: Bartolomé Mitre's Translation of The Divine Comedy
(Language: English)
Heather Sottong, Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies, University of California, Los Angeles
Index terms: Language and Literature - Italian, Political Thought
Paper 151-cOld Hispanic Chant, Unity, and New Music
(Language: English)
Litha Efthymiou, Department of Composition London College of Music University of West London
Index terms: Medievalism and Antiquarianism, Music

Paper -a:
This paper examines and compares four Chinese translations of Marco Polo's book produced by three translators in China around the 1930s. It is part of a larger book project I have been working on entitled Marco Polo and World Literature. In the paper I argue that these tales of translation are not merely about how Marco Polo's book was linguistically and textually transplanted into the Chinese language, but more importantly, about how these translators responded to the receptions of Marco Polo in the world, and how they reimagined and reconfigured Marco Polo's book with their own unique signatures.

Paper -b:
Bartolomé Mitre, President of Argentina from 1862-1868, was also the first Argentine translator of Dante’s Divine Comedy. His translation was part of his endeavor to adopt the text as the national epic of Argentina, whose culture he deemed too young to produce its own epic. My paper examines Mitre’s motives for dedicating over a decade of his life to the gargantuan task of translating Dante. I will discuss in detail what exactly this medieval Italian text had to do with 19th-century Argentine politics and why Dante’s medieval worldview and particular political vision proved ideal for creating cultural cohesion in a united and progressive post-Independence Argentina, an Argentina that embraced Italian immigration.

Paper -c:
This paper will examine how I used Old Hispanic liturgical chant melody and the broader concept of spiritual unity as the basis for a new work for two violins. Modern composers (including Crumb and Maxwell Davies) have engaged extensively with medieval chant, and the concept of unity in music is the subject of a full-length study by Jonathan Harvey. My compositional approach, however, does not conform to Harvey's suggested notions of 'stillness expounding unity' or Crumb's and Davies' particular methods. Instead, I communicate unity through changing textural landscapes and vocalisation. Findings will be illustrated through a recording of the piece: