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National Identity in Translation

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Edited By Lucyna Harmon and Dorota Osuchowska

Language as an essential and constitutive part of national identity is what obviously gets lost in translation, being substituted by the language of another nation. For this reason, one could perceive national identity and translation as contradictory and proclaim a total untranslatability of the former. However, such a simplified conclusion would clearly deny the actual translation practice, where countless successful attempts to preserve the element of national identity can be testified. The authors of the book focus on the possibilities of various approaches to national identity as a research subject within Translation Studies. The authors hope that the variety of topics presented in this book will inspire further research.

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Tales of Anthologists, Translators and Publishers: A Few Decades of Greece Represented in Poetry

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Abstract: This essay surveys some key ways in which Greek poetry has been translated, edited, anthologized from the middle of the 20th century to the end of the second decade of the 21st. Though by necessity, only some representative examples will be offered, the aim here is to suggest both progressions and fluctuations when it comes to addressing an English-speaking audience; those evolutions taking place with respect to national image, as well as the persistence of a number of stereotypes. Selection processes when it comes to e.g. groupings of poets in anthologies will be discussed, as well as differences in reception in the cases of English poets writing about Greece. Of interest is also the way in which the social upheaval and instability resulting from the financial crisis, post-2008 is reflected in recent anthologies; especially as it was the source of significant debate among literary critics in Greece.

Keywords: poetry anthologies, national image, publication strategies, reception, Greek financial crisis, translation and literary criticism

1 Introduction

In 2013, I took part at the 50th International Writers’ Meeting in Belgrade. Poets were also shuttled to Serbian cities nearby, to read; and it caught me as a surprise when our respective national anthems were played, prior to the reading. This happens just for athletes in international sports events – it seemed strangely anachronistic for a literary festival –which was otherwise beautifully organized. Why did I feel this way? After all, it is not surprising that national...

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