Universal poe(try)? Reacting to 'Annabel Lee' in English, Portuguese and Ukrainian

Anna Chesnokova, Sonia Zyngier, Vander Viana, Juliana Jandre, Samantha Nero

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract / Description of output

This study aims at verifying how readers from three different cultures react to a poem in English and translated to their mother tongues. To this end, Poe's (1985 [1849]) "Annabel Lee" was selected, and 495 participants from the United States, Brazil and Ukraine were involved in the research. The respondents were asked to read the poem in its original or translated version, and mark their reactions in a semantic differential scale with 15 items. The findings indicate that the original version provoked quite different responses: North Americans were likely to focus on the text itself, Brazilians tended to react more emotionally, and Ukrainians' response was unclear. As for the translated version, both Brazilians and Ukrainians shared the same reaction, focusing on emotion and appreciation. In terms of the comparison between reading the original and the translated text, Brazilians tended to have a more emotional response towards the poem in English, and Ukrainians' reaction was similarly triggered by the original version. Results support the argument that tracing different national reading profiles may be possible and necessary for the understanding of literary reading.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLinguagem, criatividade e ensino
Subtitle of host publicationAbordagens empíricas e interdisciplinares
EditorsSonia Zyngier, Vander Viana, Juliana Jandre
Place of PublicationRio de Janeiro
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)8577732096
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Intercultural research
  • Empirical research
  • Reader response
  • Empirical Science of Literature
  • Poem
  • Quantitative research


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