To celebrate the 150th anniversary of Yeats’s birth EFACIS, the European Federation of Associations and Centres of Irish Studies (http://www.efacis.eu/site/index.php) devised a typically European project in the sense that it wants to illustrate the characteristic qualities of our different languages. The project addresses students of literatures in English, translators and of course Yeats specialists and consists of three parts:
1) We organize a competition for students in Europe to translate one or more poems of a set of about 33 from across Yeats’s oeuvre, relating to the themes of life, death and rebirth. The selection is based on the observations made by the contributors of the book The Reception of Yeats in Europe (Continuum 2006); we took into account which aspects of Yeats do not resonate in some countries. Some of these poems are substantial, others no longer than four lines; some are complex, others simple, to cater for different tastes. Students are invited to
(a) translate the poem(s) of their choice and
(b) to write a concise text (c.800 words) in English about the specific difficulties that crop up in the transposition of Yeats’s diction into one’s own target language.
2) A second part of the EFACIS Yeats Research addresses colleagues or mature students, inviting them either
(a) to translate one of the poems, a play or essay by Yeats which has not been translated yet in and which deals with the theme “Conceiving life, conceiving death”; OR
(b) to write an essay in English about that theme, preferably using new methodologies like post-memory studies, object relations theory, empathy/sympathy and the lack of it, ecocriticism, etc. Length: c. 5000 words.
This will result in the publication of two or three volumes, according to the number of submissions: one with poetry translations both by colleagues and winning students; one with the translations of Yeats’s plays and essays; and one with essays on Yeats.
Again depending on the number of submissions and the work this will entail we plan to launch one volume of the contributions at the EFACIS conference in Palermo on 5 June 2015. This will happen with the support of the Irish government.
Deadline for submission is 30 November 2014.
The jury of the student translations will consist of :
Charles Armstrong and Ruben Moi (Norwegian)
Carmen Zamorano and Irene Gilsenan-Nordin (Swedish)
Fiorenzo Fantaccini and Enrico Reggiani (Italian)
Filomena Louro and Laura Izarra (Portuguese)
Csilla Bertha and István Rácz (Hungarian)
Rodica Albu & Tudor Balinisteanu (Romanian)
Alexandra Poulain and Carle Bonafous-Murat (French)
Four other official languages: Castilian Spanish, Galician, Basque and Catalan
We are grateful to the Irish government for their support. The Yeats project is important to us all as this opens up a new line of European translation projects of Irish writers. As the selected translations and essays will all be published on the EFACIS web (some also on paper) we trust these publications will reflect the vibrant map of Yeats scholars and translators across Europe.