Translating cube

Translating Cube – Six Sides of European Literature and Translation

Literary translation is an open and dynamic art. From January 2014 to autumn of 2015 the project Translating Cube – Six Sides of European Literature and Translation enables visitors to experience literary translation as an artistic process in six series of events each lasting several days.

In Krakau, Stuttgart, Ljubljana, Tübingen, Prague and Berlin authors, translators and experts from Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Austria, Croatia, Switzerland and Ukraine will present the multifacetedness of European literature, its spaces and entanglements. Special attention will be paid to the young generation with its transcultural biographies in present-day Europe.

Translating Cube points to the different contexts within which literary translations are generated. This includes the influence of generation-dependent reading and living experiences, movements between and within different cultures and traditions or wandering native languages. Moreover, the project looks for new forms of expression for the translation process, for instance via visualization and the setting of text to music. In this way translation is freed from conventional text-centred terms like loyalty and beauty and as a result a new overall artistic fabric within which the personality of the translator with his/her varied surroundings moves into the center of attention.

The audience will experience exciting events which place translation into an aesthetic, analytical and interactive light within categories such as „Being Read“, „Being Played“, „Being Exchanged“, „Being Finagled“, „Being Checked“ and „Being Searched and Found“.

„Being Read“: authors and translators will read their texts and demonstrate by which threads of life, culture and language the translation is tied to the original.

„Being Played“: Here is where translation comes into view as a total work of art. It will be possible to take on perspectives generally accessible to outsiders merely via analysis and reflection such as rhythm, sound and visualization.

„Being Exchanged“: Translators and experts from partner countries will have their say in presentations and discussions. They will search for answers to questions such as: „Does the young generation of translators translate differently than the generation before them?“, „Are native language dictates that call for translations into the native language still valid in the face of increasing mobility and growing multilingualism?“ or „Are translations from the East different than ones from the West?“

This analytical format counterpoints the complex artistic perception and uncovers the background of relationships in European literary spaces.

„Being Finagled“: Where did the thread between original and translation tear? The audience and event participants will collect, explain, interpret and translate things which do not exist in other linguistic and cultural spaces.

„Being Checked“: Here is where translation tandems appear and demonstrate how they communicate and understand each other using texts and contexts and how translations emerge from this exchange.

„Being Searched and Found“: This interactive format allows translators to conduct a live translation of a literary text with the audience. Each individual person can try how language skills, sound, background knowledge and inspiration are combined so that a new text comes into existence in another language.

Artists who will make an appearance include Yoko Tawada (Berlin), Sylwia Chutnik (Warsaw), Serhiy Zhadan (Kharkiv), Melinda Nadj Abonji (Zurich), Esther Kinsky (Berlin) and Yurko Prokhasko (Lviv).

The project is coordinated by Prof. Schamma Schahadat and Claudia Dathe from the Department of Slavic Studies at the University of Tübingen. Cooperating partners are Villa Decius Krakau, Literaturhaus Stuttgart, University of Ljubljana, Charles-University of Prague and Literaturwerkstatt Berlin as well as the partners from the EU-funded project „TransStar Europe“.




Translating cube