TRANSFERRING MODERNIST ELEMENTS IN POETRY TRANSLATION: T.S. ELIOT AND “PORTRAIT OF A LADY” ‒ A CASE STUDY
Keywords:Individualism , Modernism , Modernist Poetry, Pessimism, Poetry Translation , Uncertainty
This study aims to analyze Thomas Stearns Eliotʼs poem “Portrait of a Lady”, and its translation to Turkish by Erdal Ceyhan “Bir Bayanın Portresi” in terms of modernist elements used in the source text, and to put forth how these modernist elements are represented in the target text considering specifically the modernist effects they create. Modernist poetry can be defined as the poetry written between 1890 and 1950 by a group of poets who were brought together by certain common features such as writing in reaction to the excesses of Victorian poetry, looking back to the practices of ancient Greek poets, exploring technical innovations, questioning the self, and dislocating the authorial presence. Their poetry is also characterized by individualism, experimentation, and emphasis on cerebral rather than emotive subjects. For modernist poets, the modern man is an individual, feeling fragmented and alienated from the world around him. This study examines how the modernist elements in the source text are transferred to the target language, and to what extent a similar impact is created in the target text in terms of the equivalents of modernist elements used. Studying one of T.S. Eliotʼs poems and its Turkish translation helps to understand not only modernist poetry, but also the modern individual of the 1910s and 1920s. It also helps readers be more aware of potential problems with translation when reading a poem in the form of a target text while depicting the pros and cons of modernist poetry translation on a specific example.
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