Koichi Takashima Lecture 2022: Tawada Yōko — Translation as Politics, Translation as Dream
The consistent process of disorienting geography, maps, and directions in Tawada Yōko’s fiction flies in the face of problematic distinctions between “areas” and the territorial boundaries they imply, assumptions still often dominant in studies of the “boundary-crossing literature” she is taken to represent. I contend, rather, that Tawada invites us to understand the reading of her texts as itself a “project of translation,” one Roland Barthes once asserted could “only be a dream.” All translation involves assuming uncertainty and risk, and this I, contend, implies the political risks of translation. I put the unstable, dream-like, uncanny Tawada text in dialogue with contemporary theorists of translation, including Emily Apter, Haun Saussy, and Gayatri Spivak.
Brett de Bary is Professor Emerita of Asian Studies and Comparative Literature at Cornell University. Her translation of Tawada Yōko’s Borudò no gikei (2009), together with a critical study of the text, is forthcoming from Columbia University Press in the volume. Tawada Yōko’s The Brother-in-Law in Bordeaux: Translation as Method. Her essay on Tawada’s Fukushima novel, The Emissarv (Kentöshi, 2014) will be published this spring in Tales That Touch, ed. Brandt and Yildiz (De Gruyter)
TUESDAY, MAY 10, 4 — 5:30P M
UCSB: MCCUNE CONFERENCE ROOM