What Translation Means

SEP 27, 2013 | 3:30 PM TO 7:30 PM



The Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue


1200: James Art Gallery


September 27, 2013: 3:30 PM-7:30 PM





Center for the Humanities


What does it mean to translate, be translated (or not), read a translation, be read in translation?
This symposium convenes two panels — Mysticism in Translation and इंडिया (India, in other words) — as prisms through which to ponder the dense literary, political and cultural questions that the reinvention of texts through the medium of a new language entrains.

Mysticism in Translation (3:30 - 4:45 p.m.)

What makes mystical texts mystical, and what happens when they are transported to a new language and context? Translators of the Kabbalah (Cole), Nostradamus (Sieburth) and Jewish Catholic mystic Max Jacob (Warren) discuss the challenges and paradoxes of translating these complex bodies of thought and the mysticism inherent in the act of translation.

 इंडिया (India, in other words) (5:00 - 6:15 p.m.) 

What forces make the contemporary Indian literature written in English so globally prominent even as the literatures of the nation's many other languages remain, for the most part, obscure? These translators and aficionados of the literatures of India discuss the particular obstacles they face translating work from and for such a spectacularly multilingual context.

Reception to follow.

Cosponsored by the Walls and Bridges Festival, the New York Institute for the Humanities, and Amazon.com.