About The Creative Literary Studio

Explorations in writing, translation, and the art of text making.

Guest Post: the kafka variations by Colin Campbell Robinson

These variations are based on the writings and life of Franz Kafka and in particular the Blue Octavio Notebooks.

The Blue Notebooks composed by Max Richter featuring Tilda Swinton also provided inspiration.

The process of composing variations involves reading the original text in a public place, a bar or a cafe or on a train etc. whilst making notes of the everyday events occurring in that place. These are mixed with reflections and questions inspired by the reading. These notes are collected and then typed for editing and arranging purposes. Photographs are then added but not as illustrations. They are stills from an unmade film that refers to the text yet the narrative remains uncertain.

The kafka variation are one of six short of variations produced by this method. The others are Wittgenstein, Blanchot, Dogen, Guy Debord and the ghost variations featuring a number of literary figures as well as members of my family.

the kafka variations

part 3

I am an end or a beginning.

 

 

17.

Dread of night the dread of not night.

18.

He fights an independent battle. Everyone is fighting amidst betrayal, sniping, stragglers, cavalry and the rest.

Therefore, who is independent in this fracas?

He believes he is fighting alone. For once he is independent, however, he doesn’t realise there are others fighting with him for they are hidden.  Not by necessity, but by chance.

19.

Stumble along the way a little above the ground. Not a high wire trick for mountebanks.

20.

He reports seeing people swarming like ants within a trench. It has been built in the main plaza for educational purposes. No one emerges any wiser.

21.

To envelop –  enclose

encase

swathe

shroud

cloak and wrap

22.

On his desk is an envelope in which he keeps fragments. The aim, as always, is to collect until he has collected himself.

Another method he considers involves knife fighting and stone throwing but these are activities beyond his pale gift. How will he ever dream and touch totality at this rate? From sheer exhaustion after painting a corner, he explains.

23.

Pulled out of the swamp by your own pig-tale; an ignoble fate or redemption?

Answers to be submitted in a plain brown envelope.

24.

Angels don’t fly, according to the good doctor, because there is no gravity in the spiritual world.

This is beyond our conception, yet, we can know our surroundings. In fact we can know them better than ourselves as the inner world can only be experienced, not described.

25.

Beyond knowing in all this distance, distance.

26.

Quieter and fewer are those who speak whereas those who scream are legion.

Can this world be quiet and true?

Only when lying in a ditch on the side of the road, trembling.

27.

The truth will out, he says, to no one in particular.

 

Idleness is the beginning of all vice, the crown of all virtues.

28.

Not a thought, anywhere.

29.

Everyday confusion: for example, the train, the time.

To reach B from A and for A to reach B, no matter how many times A calculates the hour needed to traverse what is, or what appears to be a relatively short distance [1], A’s projections never match B’s assumptions.

Of course they fell out over this little misunderstanding  (of no importance) and haven’t spoken since.

30.

He has misunderstood the men with the wide eyes and round lips; the men with the dark hair and flashing teeth?

He who betrays you is the one who professed love.

No sympathy for those he misunderstood as they may mislead him still.

The good march in step. The others dance around them unaware, the dancers of time.

31.

Sometimes it is better to break in rather than break out of the prison. Once inside you become one of us.

[1] ‘Relatively short distance’ refer to A. Einstein and space/time continuum et al, ibid, etc

Colin Campbell Robinson is an Australian writer and photographer currently living and working in the Celtic extremity of the Isle of Bute. Recently his work has appeared in Otoliths, BlazeVox 15, Ink, Sweat and Tears, Futures Trading, E-ratio, and Molly Bloom 11 among others. Knives Forks and Spoons Press will be publishing his collection Blue Solitude – a self-portrait in six scenarios in October 2017.

Colin also collaborates with the Move in Picture project where he has published Ryokan: The Artist Book.

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Talking Transformations

TalkingTransformations

For this new project, Manuela Perteghella is collaborating with Ricarda Vidal.

We have devised Talking Transformations as a platform to examine what ‘home’ means to us at a time when notions of ‘home’ in Europe are becoming more fluid, being challenged and reshaped by unprecedented migration. Ideas and constructions of home are intricately connected to language: the mother tongue, the foreign language and, between them, translation.

Our project employs poetry and art translation to examine notions of ‘home’ in relation to migration. We look at the impact of migration on notions of home by commissioning and sending poetry about aspects of one’s own ‘home’ into a linguistic and artistic ‘migration’, where poems are translated into different languages and into film art.

Motivated by Brexit, our first project focuses on the UK and the countries most important to EU migration into and from the UK: respectively Romania & Poland and France & Spain. British poetry will be sent through linguistic and literary translation via France to Spain before returning home; in parallel, an original Polish poem will travel through translation from Poland via Romania to the UK before returning to Poland. The poems will also be translated into film art en route.

The original poems will be commissioned on the basis of public workshops held with local communities in Britain and Poland. The resulting poetry and films will be exhibited physically (in festivals, public workshops) and on our website in 2018:

http://www.talkingtransformations.eu/

Translation and other modes

Our exhibition of art, poetry and translation objects transARTation! has physically finished. The feedback from our artists, partners and visitors has been wonderful. In particular our visitors felt inspired to be creative and make their own art-translation! We are going to create a virtual exhibition on our website, so that for the next two years we can still offer an experience of this artistic activity. More to come soon. Beautifully designed catalogues are also available from our shop.

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Encyclopedia by Charles Sandison

Now,  here’s another exciting, thought-provoking event complimenting and enhancing the conversations around translation and other modes of expression. A one day event dedicated to the exploration of the relationship between translation and multimodality at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Cambridge:

Translation and Multimodality

Date: 26 May 2017,

Time: 11:00 – 16:00

Location: Seminar Room SG1, Alison Richard Building,  Cambridge, UK.

With this event the organizers intend to take a bolder interdisciplinary stance and to engage with recent research that explores intersemiotic translation in its most innovative forms.

Please read here for a programme  and further details.

 

TransARTation! more events

 6 May 2017  2-4pm The Shoe Factory Social Club, Norwich, UK

Translation as Collaboration: hidden messages and unsolvable jigsaws –  by Dr Anna Milsom (University of Leicester).

 

Anna Milsom discusses translating Poema Invertido, Verónica Gerber Bicecci’s response to Poema Plástico by Mathias Goeritz. 

Verónica Gerber Bicecci’s Poema invertido begins with a question: could Mathias Goeritz have left a message in his Poema plástico that no-one has noticed? Goeritz once described the piece as “a lament set into the most luminous wall at the Museo Experimental el Eco”, the art museum in Mexico City he conceived as a sculptural manifestation of what he called “emotional architecture”. Becoming obsessed with the idea of trying to decipher the unknown language that Goeritz invented, Gerber Bicecci asked a number of different people to help her interpret his poem. From the four responses received, she extracted words and ideas that ultimately became “the pieces of an unsolvable jigsaw puzzle” in her own Poema. For TransARTation!Poema invertido has entered a new phase: drawing on notions of ‘thick translation’ whereby a text is located within a web of other texts and translation is seen as a positive form of rewriting rather than in terms of loss, literary translator Anna Milsom offers English versions, handwritten into the original document. The Spanish and English texts co-exist alongside one another in Inverted (&Translated) Poem, taking one more step in the chain of responses that started with Mathias Goeritz’s visual poem embedded in a museum wall.  This event is free, but do let us know if you are planning to come. ​

6 May 2017  6 pm The Shoe Factory Social Club, Norwich, UK

Artist Simon Starling’s in conversation with Anna Milsom 

Come and listen over a glass of wine to former Turner  Prize Winner Simon Starling on the importance of translation in artistic practice and the visibility of the artist.

20170413_153815This event is free, but you need to register here:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/in-conversation-with-simon-starling-tickets-33971164668?aff=es2 

Attendees to the talk can also see Simon Starling’s installation, a new “talk work” shown in a cinema-like cubicle, which has been devised specifically for TransARTation!  A Talk takes as its starting point an image of the Scottish actor Stephen Clyde standing at an improvised lecture podium while playing the role of the artist at the Glasgow debut of Starling’s 2016 play about the mistranslation and reinvention of Japanese Noh theatre in avant-garde Europe during World War I, At Twilight: A play for two actors, three musicians, one dancer, eight masks (and a donkey costume). Once again voiced by Clyde and drawing on a number of lectures made by Simon over the past few years, this richly illustrated presentation investigates both the role of the artist’s talk in Simon’s practice and his continued interest in the relationship between translations, transformations and transpositions.

For information on the exhibition and associated events please click here
For directions to The Shoe Factory Social Club click here

TransARTation! Wandering Texts, Travelling Objects 2017

transartation_logo

is a travelling exhibition of translated ‘objects’, translation workshops, artists’ talks and site-specific works that opens up a space for artists, poets, writers and communities to explore ideas about translation and art in a variety of ways.  And what is better than a travelling show to start an exploration of translation, in the way this reflects how texts and ideas travel and migrate across geographical, cultural and fictional spaces.

Scotland: 31 March-8 April 2017

The Byre Theatre,

The University of St Andrews, 

Abbey Street, St Andrews,

Fife KY16 9LA

 

England: 12 April-6 May 2017, 

The Shoe Factory Social Club  

St Mary’s Works – St Mary’s Plain,

Norwich NR3 3AF

Translation is a far-reaching activity, albeit often an invisible one. Translation operates both as  practice and as a metaphor. As a practice, it is the process which allows stories and ideas to travel freely between peoples and cultures. As a metaphor, the notion of translation as a journey, a moving-across, a transformation, or an interpretive juggling act is often conjured up in discussions that explore nationhood, identity, politics, but also creativity. Increasingly, translation is being recognised as a transdisciplinary activity, drawing upon and contributing to a whole range of ideas and practices that include, but can go far beyond, taking a text from one language into another. As artists and writers produce work inspired by translation, the exhibition also explores questions of displacement, cultural difference, migration and identity.

The exhibition brings together a heterogeneous group of artists, including writers of texts and translations, poets, visual artists, multimedia artists and performers, creating the opportunity for insightful and fruitful collaboration across the board, challenging the idea of artistic compartmentalisation.

Perhaps most significantly, this exhibition brings together British and international artists, including British artists and writers residing in European cities, highlighting how both literature and art naturally transcend national boundaries, and how both seek to shape inclusive societies and cultural commons.

The exhibition is complemented by a series of associated talks and participatory art workshops. The aim of these is to foster public engagement and community involvement in investigating how translation, understood from all angles, stimulates and provokes the production of text-objects and works of visual art.

 

transartation_logowants to democratize culture and creativity, and see in these the power to contribute to an inclusive society, bringing together communities. In this sense, our translation-objects and workshops are fully participatory, allowing audiences to engage creatively with art, literature and language, and intellectually with ideas of translation, culture and, finally, of society.

It is an opportunity for artists, translators and the public to engage with translation in all its dimensions. For more information about contributing artists, opening times and associated events please visit www.transartation.com

TransARTation! is a free, participatory arts event devised and curated by

Manuela Perteghella, Eugenia Loffredo and Anna Milsom

We hope to see you there!

TransARTationimage (1)

lottery_Logo_Black RGBImage result for st andrews uni logo

 

The Warwick Prize for Women in Translation

A great start to the International Women’s Day!

The inaugural Warwick Prize for Women in Translation will be awarded in November 2017 to the best eligible work of fiction, poetry, literary non-fiction or work of fiction for children or young adults written by a woman and translated into English by a female or male translator. The £1,000 prize will be divided between the writer and her translator(s), with each contributor receiving an equal share. In cases where the writer is no longer living, the translator will receive all of the prize money.

The prize aims to address the gender imbalance in translated literature and to increase the number of international women’s voices accessible by a British and Irish readership.

For more information about the Prize and how to enter please read here.

Contemporary Playwrights in Europe (and in translation)

Koninklijke Vlaamse Schouwburg

(Théâtre royal flamand de Bruxelles / Brussels City Theatre)
 
Friday 28 to Saturday 29 April 2017

Some of Europe’s most important playwrights and theatre translators will be present to listen to, and speak about, readings of their plays both in the original, and in translation.

 
Confirmed playwrights and translators include:

Jean-Baptiste Coursaud (translator Nordic languages/French)
Melkūnaitė, Akvilė (translator Lithuanian/French)
Esther Sermage (translator Swedish/French)
Marianne Segol (translator Swedish/French)
Laurent Gallardo (translator Catalan/French)
Clarice Plasteig Dit Cassou (translator Catalan/French)

Katja Brunner (Switzerland)

Rachel De Lahaye (UK)

Wolfram Höll (Germany)

Marius Ivaškevičius (Lithuania)

Alistair McDowell (UK)

Pau Miró (Catalonia, Spain)

Gary Owen (UK)

Cristina Ouzoudinis (Sweden)

Marina Skalova (Russia)

Maria Tryti Vennerød (Norway)

Demian Vitanza (Norway/Italy)

More names to be confirmed.

Co-organised by Christian Biet, Chris Campbell, Clare Finburgh, Laurent Mulheisen, Christine Schmitt, Christophe Triau, Karel Vanhaesenbrouck. For information, contact Clare Finburgh (c.finburgh@kent.ac.uk)