Title: De andere stem. Over het dialogisch dichterschap van Bernlef. Ashbery-Bernlef-Tranströmer
Other Titles: The other voice. About the dialogic poetics of Bernlef. Ashbery-Bernlef-Tranströmer
Authors: Reijmerink, Johan
Issue Date: 16-Dec-2016
Abstract: Tweespraak - About the dialogic life and work as a poet of Bernlef / Ashbery-Bernlef-Tranströmer
Bernlef has been convinced from the beginning of his life and work as poet that reading, translating of and essay-writing about foreign poetry can be an important starting point to develop the authenticity of his own voice. From the read and translated poetry of predecessors and contemporaries it has been assumed that in according to the form and content an unmistakable influcnce can emanate to its own poetry. Harold Bloom has shown us long ago already in his study The Anxiety of Influence (1973) that many writers try to conceal the anxiety for this influence. Remarkable is that Bernlef has not wanted to take part in this disguise. He shows us openly in his essays his experiences in reading and translating. Bernlef seems express aesthetic susceptible to the poetry of some important foreign poets. That gives him a special position in the permanent subject to the alterations in the landscape of literature. In that playing field the concepts of affinity, influence and intertextuality each another compete for the first place.
The key question at hand is: how can we understand the translating of a poet as Bernlef as an activity of his reading and writing? How is in in that framework the concept of the dialogic work as a poet in realtion to the concepts of affinity, influence and intertextuality? In this study I do research the influence from the perspective of the dialogic work as a poet and make the assumption that reading and translating of the poetry of the American poet John Ashbery and of the Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer has an influence at the writing of poetry by Bernlef. Also I try as far as possible work out what Bernlef in his translation activities in view of his poetical notions take along to his own translations, and what kind of considerations is to recognize in his essays and his poetry about the process of translation. The traditional study to affinity and influence is falling into disrepute first by the attention for the autonomous text of the modernism and later by the insight of intertextuality of the postmodernism.
From the beginning of this century some Flemish literary scholars have counseled for a revaluation of the phenomenon of the influence. Geert Buelans talked about the phenomenon in his dissertation Van Osatijen tot heden (2001). Ten years later Carl De Strycker shows in his dissertation Celan auseinandergeschrieben (2011) from the perspective of text and reader, that the tide has changed. De Strycker focus target to more onlly than the autonomous source and target text. He takes in his considerations the context, without coming the challenged intention of the author to the fore in his analysis and interpretation. He chooses for a good match between the discussed texts and the frame of reference of the authors. That all takes an important roll in the making of a comparative assessment as it concerns the influence from the authors to each other in mutuality.
The renewed attention for this phenomenon of the influence justifies the assumptiion that the writer/poet/essay-writer Bernlef in his act of reading and translating can face it up without anxiety from the positive perspective the existing phenomenons of affinity, influence and intertextuality. Bernlef shows us in his poetry, translations ans essays that translating is a way of working and a development path in which it is possible influence and intertextuality in relationship between the two without anxiety and now it is clear for us how his development is changing as a poet in consultation with himself, his own poetry and the poetry of Ashbery and Tranströmer by middle of translating, imitating and competing.
Publication status: accepted
KU Leuven publication type: TH
Appears in Collections:Literary Studies Research Unit, Leuven - miscellaneous
Dutch Literature, Leuven
Literary Theory and Cultural Studies, Leuven

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