Thursday, April 18, 2013

Brandon's Questions

There are always several volunteers to help Daddy with his homework.
If you have talked to me in the past month or so you most likely heard about Brandon's Qualifying Exams.  He was given a question from a committee of professors and had two weeks to respond and then the next day was given another.  I'm sure you can imagine how fun it was for all of us.
Then, like in Disney's Cinderella he had to get started on his 'regular chores' and take the finals for his classes.
He worked very hard and we are all amazed that he was able to do it all.  Because this blog isn't just for the entertainment of my millions of readers, but also doubles as our family history I wanted to record his questions.  If you are squeamish about literary jargon just skip to the next post.  Or, if you are up to a challenge go ahead and write the answers.  You can send them to me via email and I will print them off and chuck them into the recycle bin because the only thing that is probably more boring than these questions is their answers (with the exception, of course, of Brandon's papers because they were probably thrillingly insightful.  I didn't get to read them because he was still working on them hours after I went to bed and then turned them in before I had a chance.)

1. To what extent can self-translation be considered an exceptional case within the broader realm of literary translation?  If second-party translation (i.e. translation done by and individual other than the original author) can be considered a practice entailing divided authorship or authority over a text, and if much of the field of translation studies conceives of translation in this way, how does the fact and practice of self-translation challenge some of the central paradigms of that field?  Demonstrate throughout your response that you have a clear grasp of the theoretical framework that will support your dissertation.

2.  Urayoán Noel is a Puerto Rican poet whose poetry, in Spanish and English, presented in a bilingual format in Kool Logic/Lógico kool, playfully and ironically explores the tensions and the symbolic charge of both languages.  In relation to the Dirty War, and his exile as an Argentinian Jew, Juan Gelman's Dibaxu also establishes a very nuanced political critique and a statement about exile and love, through his poetry in Ladino and Spanish.  Choose at least two poems with their two linguistic versions by both Noel and Gelman, respectively, and through a comparative analysis discuss the connections and disconnections between these two very different aesthetic projects.  What is the importance of the act of self-translation?  How are exile and displacement represented in these two books of poetry?  You must develop a strong argument in your close reading of the texts, and place the poems in a broader political, historical, and literary context.

He will have to defend his responses later this month in front of his committee so send all your good vibes his way.  Then, if all goes well he will be able to actually start writing his dissertation.


Debbie said...

Hey, you are looking at our blog in that picture! Sweet! I got part way through the first question and quit, I just finished school, I don't need to be reading questions like that!

Laurie said...

Wow, those are great questions. I don't have the answers, though. :) Good luck to Brandon. I'm sure he will do exceedingly well.