Semiosis of translation in Wang Wei's and Paul Celan's hermetic poetry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Traditionally, comparative literature has focused on the study of influences between texts and it is only recent work that has explored the analogies and affinities of historically independent cultures. In this spirit, this paper develops methods for a structured poetic analysis and applies them to a systematic comparison of the poem "Niao Ming Jiàn" from the 8th-century Chinese poet Wáng Wéi and the program piece of Paul Celan's Atemwende: "Du Darfst," based upon a detailed analysis of their poetics. The analysis and translation reveals how both poems employ words and images as signs without reference, and create dialogical gaps through ambiguity and impersonality. Thus, despite their cultural and historical separation, both poetic texts become "hermetic," and both poets apply the "hermetic" as a method of inquiry into truth, a truth that cannot be simply pronounced, but needs to be cowitnessed, or heard in silence. It is through this meaningful "silence" that their poetry invites readers and translators all the more perceptively to engage in meaningful conversations. These results entail encouraging perspectives for the question of the limits of translation, especially with regard to east-western studies and for crosscultural comparative literature. Thus, the paper supports Prof. Li Qingben's and Prof. Guo Jinghua's claim for a multi-dimensional framework in the study of East- West cultural influences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-102
Number of pages16
JournalCultura. International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

poetry
comparative research
writer
translator
conversation
Poetics
Semiosis
Poetry
Paul Celan
Comparative Literature
Poem
Poet
Affinity
Cultural Influences
Reader
Translator
Impersonality
East-West

Cite this

@article{283f376b839943aba2438c48140cc81f,
title = "Semiosis of translation in Wang Wei's and Paul Celan's hermetic poetry",
abstract = "Traditionally, comparative literature has focused on the study of influences between texts and it is only recent work that has explored the analogies and affinities of historically independent cultures. In this spirit, this paper develops methods for a structured poetic analysis and applies them to a systematic comparison of the poem {"}Niao Ming Ji{\`a}n{"} from the 8th-century Chinese poet W{\'a}ng W{\'e}i and the program piece of Paul Celan's Atemwende: {"}Du Darfst,{"} based upon a detailed analysis of their poetics. The analysis and translation reveals how both poems employ words and images as signs without reference, and create dialogical gaps through ambiguity and impersonality. Thus, despite their cultural and historical separation, both poetic texts become {"}hermetic,{"} and both poets apply the {"}hermetic{"} as a method of inquiry into truth, a truth that cannot be simply pronounced, but needs to be cowitnessed, or heard in silence. It is through this meaningful {"}silence{"} that their poetry invites readers and translators all the more perceptively to engage in meaningful conversations. These results entail encouraging perspectives for the question of the limits of translation, especially with regard to east-western studies and for crosscultural comparative literature. Thus, the paper supports Prof. Li Qingben's and Prof. Guo Jinghua's claim for a multi-dimensional framework in the study of East- West cultural influences.",
author = "Yi Chen",
year = "2012",
month = "12",
day = "1",
doi = "10.5840/cultura2012927",
language = "English",
volume = "9",
pages = "87--102",
journal = "Cultura. International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology",
issn = "1584-1057",
publisher = "Editura Fundatiei Axis",
number = "2",

}

Semiosis of translation in Wang Wei's and Paul Celan's hermetic poetry. / Chen, Yi.

In: Cultura. International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology, Vol. 9, No. 2, 01.12.2012, p. 87-102.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Semiosis of translation in Wang Wei's and Paul Celan's hermetic poetry

AU - Chen, Yi

PY - 2012/12/1

Y1 - 2012/12/1

N2 - Traditionally, comparative literature has focused on the study of influences between texts and it is only recent work that has explored the analogies and affinities of historically independent cultures. In this spirit, this paper develops methods for a structured poetic analysis and applies them to a systematic comparison of the poem "Niao Ming Jiàn" from the 8th-century Chinese poet Wáng Wéi and the program piece of Paul Celan's Atemwende: "Du Darfst," based upon a detailed analysis of their poetics. The analysis and translation reveals how both poems employ words and images as signs without reference, and create dialogical gaps through ambiguity and impersonality. Thus, despite their cultural and historical separation, both poetic texts become "hermetic," and both poets apply the "hermetic" as a method of inquiry into truth, a truth that cannot be simply pronounced, but needs to be cowitnessed, or heard in silence. It is through this meaningful "silence" that their poetry invites readers and translators all the more perceptively to engage in meaningful conversations. These results entail encouraging perspectives for the question of the limits of translation, especially with regard to east-western studies and for crosscultural comparative literature. Thus, the paper supports Prof. Li Qingben's and Prof. Guo Jinghua's claim for a multi-dimensional framework in the study of East- West cultural influences.

AB - Traditionally, comparative literature has focused on the study of influences between texts and it is only recent work that has explored the analogies and affinities of historically independent cultures. In this spirit, this paper develops methods for a structured poetic analysis and applies them to a systematic comparison of the poem "Niao Ming Jiàn" from the 8th-century Chinese poet Wáng Wéi and the program piece of Paul Celan's Atemwende: "Du Darfst," based upon a detailed analysis of their poetics. The analysis and translation reveals how both poems employ words and images as signs without reference, and create dialogical gaps through ambiguity and impersonality. Thus, despite their cultural and historical separation, both poetic texts become "hermetic," and both poets apply the "hermetic" as a method of inquiry into truth, a truth that cannot be simply pronounced, but needs to be cowitnessed, or heard in silence. It is through this meaningful "silence" that their poetry invites readers and translators all the more perceptively to engage in meaningful conversations. These results entail encouraging perspectives for the question of the limits of translation, especially with regard to east-western studies and for crosscultural comparative literature. Thus, the paper supports Prof. Li Qingben's and Prof. Guo Jinghua's claim for a multi-dimensional framework in the study of East- West cultural influences.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84883252624&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.5840/cultura2012927

DO - 10.5840/cultura2012927

M3 - Article

VL - 9

SP - 87

EP - 102

JO - Cultura. International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology

JF - Cultura. International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology

SN - 1584-1057

IS - 2

ER -