Abstract and Keywords
‘European Affinities’ takes a broad look at the presence of contemporary British and Irish poetry in several sample countries of the New Europe. Starting with the vision of high modernism, and in particular Eliot’s notion of an interconnected mind of Europe, and Pound’s diachronic engagement with European poetries, the essay considers the chequered reality of contemporary translation, publication, reception, and influence, noting the hiatus between each of these stages. Much will be seen to depend on chance and context: there is no systematic rationale to this process of one nation taking notice of another nation’s poetry. It will depend in large part on particular individuals with particular enthusiasms in particular places, sometimes native-speakers, sometimes expatriates, with frequently the two working together. In some countries of the former Eastern bloc interest in British poetry has declined since the events of 1989–90, but in others, like post-reunification Germany, or Poland, a flourishing reciprocity has become established, with measurable influence on both sides. The poet-scholar-translator, with attachment to the university, is seen to be a powerful enabler. The role of the international festival, the literary journal, and, increasingly, of the State-funded translation workshop is also considered.
Keywords: translation, reception, influence, reciprocity, affinity, Europe, festival, translation workshop, magazine, anthology, linguistic minority, funding body, poet-scholar-translator, university, individual
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