Histrionic translation : a methodology for promoting the translator's inter-subjectivity as co-producer

  • Fei Yue TSANG

Student thesis: PhD Thesis (Lingnan)


This thesis will focus on Ezra Pound’s poem, Histrion, its associations with Stanislavskian method acting and their interface with translation studies. The title of “Histrion” is derived from the Latin word for an actor and Pound clearly wishes to suggest strong parallels between the voice of the poet and the voice of the actor. The work evokes a clairvoyant state of heightened consciousness achieved by the poet, in which he melds the subjectivities of the modern writer and the “souls of all men great” (earlier poets such as Dante and Villon) in a translucent flame of fused form. The thesis will explore the phenomenological implications of merging two identities and then apply the seemingly far-fetched concept of metempsychosis suggested in Pound’s poem to translation studies with reference to contemporaneous (to Pound) Stanislavskian acting approaches. For Pound as creative re-writer, as for the creative method actor, all demarcation between the two subjects dissolves. Likewise, in literary translation, as much of Pound’s work exemplifies, the melding and mingling of the author’s and the translator’s subjectivities can be a viable methodology. Such histrionic translation attempts to enact and even resurrect the persona of the source text in the target version. Thus I propose to meld Stanislavskian acting theories with Pound’s sense of metempsychosis and metamorphosis with application to the study of literary translation.
Date of Award2013
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Department of English
SupervisorMichael Anthony INGHAM (Supervisor)

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