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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2017-18

COLT 30.01 Translating over Time

When we read "the Classics of world literature," we very often read them in translation; and we very rarely think about the implications of doing so. In this course, we will consider the difficulty of translating not only between different languages and cultures, but also across time. Do we aim to make the text as accessible and familiar to modern readers as it might have been to its original audience? Do we aim to let modern readers feel the distance between themselves and the culture and language of the original? Do we aim primarily to respect the integrity of the text's linguistic, cultural and aesthetic choices, or do we aim primarily at "bringing it into the twenty-first century"?   We will study different theoretical approaches to these questions and different renderings of old texts; we will interview experienced scholars and translators, from Dartmouth and elsewhere, who have translated from a variety of literary traditions. All students will try their hand at translating, in short exercises and a final project. Texts to be studied may include Beowulf; the Tale of Genji; selections from the Bible; Sophocles' Antigone; the Bhagavad Gita; and lyric poetry from various traditions. Prerequisite: Fulfillment of the Dartmouth language requirement (in any language) or equivalent competence in at least one language other than English. The course may be taken as a follow-on to COLT 19, but can also be taken independently.

Distributive and/or World Culture


The Timetable of Class Meetings contains the most up-to-date information about a course. It includes not only the meeting time and instructor, but also its official distributive and/or world culture designation. This information supersedes any information you may see elsewhere, to include what may appear in this ORC/Catalog or on a department/program website. Note that course attributes may change term to term therefore those in effect are those (only) during the term in which you enroll in the course.