Translation: Operations at the
heart (ache) of meaning
A talk with translator/poet ERIN MOURE
6pm February 15, 2012
EV6-735 (enter on Mackay, elevator to 6th)
1555 Ste Catherine West
Drawing on examples from her translation practice in poetry, Erín Moure discusses translation
as an operation that is not just linguistic, but social. It takes place in a social field, and is a task
accomplished through—and that bears traces of—the intervention of one human body: that of
the translator. In translation, the “thing” or “meaning” that is “carried across” from one text to
another is never purely a representation of the work of the original author. The “new” meaning
is part of a social fabric in the target language and is not solely resident in the text itself. What is
meaning, after all, if it is not “our” meaning?
Moure, in her explorations of the translation process, sheds conventional oppositions between
modern/postmodern, fragment/whole, subjective/objective to approach something that is
perhaps closer to some of Jacques Rancière’s thinking on the distribution of the sensible.
For Moure, explorations of translation help lay bare some of the stakes of what art is, and what
it is to produce art.
Organized by the Artistic Production working group, supported by
The Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture (CISSC)
Canadian poet and translator Erín Moure lives with one foot in Montreal and one in Kelowna. In her recent O
Resplandor (2010) and—with Oana Avasilichioaei—Expeditions of a Chimæra (2009) poetry is hybrid, and
emerges in translation and collaboration. Moure has translated Nicole Brossard (with Robert Majzels ) and
Louise Dupré f rom French, Chus Pato and Rosalía de Castro from Galician, Andrés Ajens from Chilean Spanish,
and Fernando Pessoa from Portuguese. Her essays, My Beloved Wager (2009) are a chronicle of 25 years of
writing practice. She performs and speaks internationally on poetry and translation, and her work has been
honoured with awards on several occasions. The Unmemntioable, an investigation into subjectivity and
experience in western Ukraine and Alberta, will appear in February 2012.