Aimé Césaire's place in world literature today is due in large part to the many translators who have struggled to render his often hermetic writing into other languages, including English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch, Swedish, and Japanese. Some of the best translations into English, those by the team of Eshleman and Smith, now appear in large collections of world literature used in courses around the world, most notably his long and explosive poem Cahier d'un retour au pays natal (Notebook of a Return to the Native Land), first published in the journal Volontés in August 1939.1 Matching these efforts to make Césaire's writing available to a global audience, beginning with the first translation of Cahier d'un retour au pays natal in 1947 by Ivan Goll and Lionel Abel, are Césaire's own attempts on a micro scale to bring two poems by African American poets to the...
Césaire and the Challenge of Translation: The Example of “Strong Men” by Sterling Brown
Thomas A. Hale is Edwin Erle Sparks professor emeritus of African, French, and comparative literature at Penn State University. He has focused his research since 1972 on Aimé Césaire and on African literature, written and recorded from oral sources. From 1974 to 1980, he coedited, with Lilyan Kesteloot, Cahiers Césairiens, an occasional publication devoted to research on the Martinican writer. In 1978, he published Les écrits d'Aimé Césaire. His articles on Césaire have appeared in Research in African Literatures, French Politics, Culture, and Society, Yale French Studies, Africana Journal, Oeuvres et Critiques, and Etudes littéraires. He has also published chapters on the Martinican writer in Aimé Césaire, le legs, Aimé Césaire: Pour regarder le siècle en face, When the Drumbeat Changes, Aimé Césaire; ou, L'athanor d'un alchimiste, Soleil éclaté, Césaire 70, and Aimé Césaire à l'oeuvre. He is the coauthor, with Kora Véron, of Les écrits d'Aimé Césaire: Biobibliographie commentée, 1913–2008 (2012).
Thomas A. Hale; Césaire and the Challenge of Translation: The Example of “Strong Men” by Sterling Brown. Comparative Literature Studies 1 September 2013; 50 (3): 445–457. doi: https://doi.org/10.5325/complitstudies.50.3.0445
Download citation file: