Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects

Department

English

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Although Surrealist writing has literary merit, Surrealist texts were written as revolutionary tracts meant to undermine the social order. Yet the politically radical aspects of the movement are no longer taken very seriously. At least one contributing factor to the current impotence of Surrealism is the approach taken in the translation of Surrealist texts. Many translators have presented Surrealist texts as they would traditionally present any literary document. However, Walter Benjamin’s writings on translation, in particular his essay “The Task of the Translator,” provide a novel conception of translation, one which can produce linguistically radical texts. I will argue that the Benjaminian approach to translating Surrealism promises to reinvigorate Surrealism for modern readers.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Dr. Adrian Switzer

Disciplines

Comparative and Historical Linguistics | French and Francophone Literature | Philosophy of Language | Reading and Language