Poetics Workshop: A discussion with Professor Karen Emmerich on her new book, Literary Translation and the Making of Originals
Research interests: Modern Greek literature, theories of translation, experimental translation, textual scholarship, visual culture
Professor Karen Emmerich's current research focuses on the overlap in the tasks of the editor and the translator, particularly with regard to the instability of literary works. Her forthcoming book, Translation and the Making of Originals, brings recent work in the field of textual scholarship to bear on discussions of translation. She argues that translation is not a mere transfer of a given “original” from one language into another, but a process by which an original is, in a sense, “fixed” or created, as translators often have to adjudicate between multiple editions or versions of a text. Emmerich has also published articles on the visual and material poetics of Greek poets including C. P. Cavafy, Miltos Sachtouris, and Eleni Vakalo, and on the ways translators and editors have approached the challenges presented by the visual idiosyncrasy and textual instability manifested by these and other works. Before joining the Department of Comparative Literature at Princeton, she was on the faculty of the University of Cyprus (2011-2012) and the University of Oregon (2012-2014) . Her academic commitment to translation as a mode and model for comparative work in the humanities is complemented by her work as a translator of modern and contemporary Greek literature. She has translated eleven books of Greek poetry and prose, and have received translation awards and grants from PEN, the NEA, and the Modern Greek Studies Association.