Re-newing the Written Word

By: Alice Whitmore  

As a literary translator, creative writer, cultural critic, and early career academic, I traffic in words and their fluidity; in the crossing of borders, both literal and literary; in the re-creation and re-contextualisation of literature that pushes and renegotiates the boundaries of genre and style. This paper sets out an interdisciplinary approach to translation practice and theory that combines the creative and the theoretical in an ethics of alienation, unease. and literary "violence" —not the violence of extremism, but the gentle madness of poetry: Antoine Berman’s “violence immédiate de la Parole tragique,” Derrida’s “via rupta,” and the "forcener doucement" that designs and inhabits the dynamic verges of culture. Literary translation is impossible for me if not accompanied (or flanked, or otherwise "paralleled") by creative writing, and the two crafts inevitably bleed into one another, sometimes to such an extent that I am unable to extricate the two. The inherent interdisciplinarity of my translation methodology is also borne out in my engagement with theory and criticism. My 2017 Ph.D. thesis was the among the first of its kind at Monash University, in that it comprised both a creative component—in my case, the Spanish-to-English translation of a novel by Mexican author Guillermo Fadanelli—and an "exegetical" critical component.

"Translation", " Literature"
Literary Humanities
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Dr. Alice Whitmore

Assistant Lecturer in Spanish and Latin American Studies, School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics, Monash University, Australia
-, Australia

Alice Whitmore is the Pushcart-Prize nominated translator of two novels —Guillermo Fadanelli's See You at Breakfast? (Giramondo 2016) and Mariana Dimópulos's All My Goodbyes (Giramondo 2017)— and a number of poetry and essay selections, in publications such as Asymptote, Seizure, Reinvention, and The AALITRA Review. Her academic and creative writing has been published by The Translator, New Directions in Translation Studies, the Journal of Iberian and Latin American Research, the Sydney Review of Books, Penguin Specials, Going Down Swinging, Tincture, Verge, Voiceworks and Mexico City Lit. She is the Translations Editor for the Cordite Poetry Review and an assistant editor for The AALITRA Review, and lectures in Spanish and Literary Studies at Monash University. Her research interests include comparative and contemporary Latin American literature, the literary city, and interdisciplinary translation studies.