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The Poetry of Gerrit Achterberg: A Translation Problem?

  • Antoinette Fawcett
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Translating and Interpreting book series (PTTI)

Abstract

In this chapter, Fawcett examines the case of twentieth century Dutch poet Gerrit Achterberg, whose poetry was both critically acclaimed and popular in the Dutch-speaking world, but barely known elsewhere. After examining possible reasons for this, the chapter focuses on the specific challenges of translating Achterberg’s poems, taking James Brockway’s translation story as an example. Brockway (1916–2000) perceived the centrality of form in Achterberg’s work, and understood that the formal elements of the poems could not be divorced from their effect and meaning. The chapter relates Brockway’s perceptions to the concept of iconicity, arguing that an alert response to the functioning of iconicity in a specific poem may provide a key not only to translating Achterberg’s work, but to many works that are similarly motivated.

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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antoinette Fawcett
    • 1
  1. 1.Independent ScholarUlverston, CumbriaUK

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