Entre l’audible et l’inaudible: Intersemiotic translation of Mohammed Dib’s poetry

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The aesthetic rationale for the intersemiotic translation of works by Algerian author Mohammed Dib (1920–2003) pertains above all to the experiential dimension of his poetry. The challenge in translating his oeuvre is to locate the ‘drama in the text’ and identify the writer’s implicit ‘stage directions’, in order to provide the necessary conditions for generating an isomorphic but not imitative expression, which in turn may release affects as far as possible unconstrained by fixity of interpretation. Playing with the culturally dislocated quality of eighteenth century painting Hagar and the Angel by Scottish painter John Runciman, the gallery installation Haجar and the Anجel draws on Dib’s retelling of this ancient biblical story in his 1996 poetry collection L’Aube Ismaël to engage with contemporary themes of identity, exile and migration. The manner in which participants can be drawn into the intersemiotic experience of the installation resonates with the virtuality of time and space in poetry, but takes on a self-conscious dimension in L’Aube Ismaël, where the act of listening forms a dominant trope. Ultimately it is the participants in the live environment of the completed installation who effectively become its actors and, in some sense, translators.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLanguage − Literature − the Arts
Subtitle of host publicationA Cognitive-Semiotic Interface
EditorsElżbieta Chrzanowska-Kluczewska, Olga Vorobyova
PublisherPeter Lang
ISBN (Electronic)9783631702505
ISBN (Print)9783631660867
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

NameText - Meaning - Context: Cracow Studies in English Language, Literature and Culture


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