Translation is a journey – a journey undertaken by the text, hopping around the world and mischievously border-crossing from one language to another, from one culture to another. For a translator, this journey can become a truly creative engagement with the otherness of the source text, an experience of self-discovery leading to understanding and enrichment, and ultimately towards a new text.
This singular literary ‘experiment’ intends to magnify the idiosyncrasy of this translational journey. In the process translation reveals itself as an increasingly creative activity rather than simply a linguistic transfer. This volume consists of twelve translations of one poem: ‘Les Fenêtres’ by the French poet Apollinaire. The translators embarking on this project, all from different backgrounds and working contexts (poets, professional translators, academics, visual artists), were asked to engage with the inherent multimodality of this poem – inspired by Robert Delaunay’s Les Fenêtres series of paintings. The result is a kaleidoscopic diversity of approaches and final products.
Each translation is accompanied by self-reflective commentary which provides insight into the complex process and experience of translation, enticing the reader to join this journey too.