By Emily Salines
Alchemy and Amalgam explores a comparatively un-researched zone of the Baudelairean corpus (his translations from English) and relates them to the remainder of his works. It seeks to set up a hyperlink among translational and artistic writing, arguing for a reassessment of where of translation in Baudelaire’s writing technique. instead of a sideline in Baudelaire’s inventive actions, translation is hence proven to be a important kind of twin writing on the middle of his works. Baudelaire’s translations from English, his consistent rewriting of pre-existing fabric (including his own), the doublets, the transpositions d’art, and the paintings feedback are all in accordance with an method of writing that is primarily by-product but additionally transformative. therefore the Baudelairean scan illustrates the bounds of romantic notions of originality, creativity and genius, reminding us that each one writing is intrinsically intertextual. It additionally exhibits the complexity of translation as a sort of production on the center of recent writing.
The booklet is likely one of the first of its variety to hyperlink the research the translational task of an enormous author to his ‘creative’ writings. it's also one of many first to supply an built-in presentation of French 19th-century translation methods and to hyperlink them to questions of copyright and authorship within the context of the increase of capitalism and romantic perspectives of production and genius. It bargains, as a result, a brand new point of view either on translation background and on literary historical past.
Alchemy and Amalgam could be of curiosity to scholars of translation, comparative literature and French reviews.
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Additional info for Alchemy and Amalgam: Translation in the Works of Charles Baudelaire
65 L’amour du métier? 69 At the same time, the American origin of the translations shows through anglicisms in the French prose, in the same way as Croly’s text makes itself felt in Le Jeune Enchanteur. 71 Similarly, ‘magnificence terrifique’ in ‘Manuscrit trouvé dans une bouteille’ reads like a word for word translation of the original, even without reference to the source text. 73 More frequently, the foreign may be felt by syntactic choices, which seem influenced by English syntax. As in Le Jeune Enchanteur, the place of adjectives often reflects an English order.
The first three parts of the text combine open summaries of the opinions of American critics (in fact mainly Daniel) followed by Baudelaire’s criticism of these opinions and defence of Poe; biographical details for which the unacknowledged source is here again Daniel’s article; translated extracts from Poe works, found by Baudelaire in the same article, and translated by himself;98 and, finally, Baudelaire’s own comments. The final part, on the other hand, provides Baudelaire’s personal enthusiastic conclusion on Poe’s genius.
In ‘Morella’, Morella’s daughter is her mother’s double, and the story culminates with the discovery that the double is in fact the same, the second Morella appearing as a re-incarnation of the first. In ‘Ligeia’, Lady Rowena and Lady Ligeia are described as opposites but in the final scene merge into one. ‘William Wilson’ of course is entirely explained by Patrick F. Quinn (The French Face of Edgar Allan Poe, p. 112) by the fact that the translations were made under the pressure of Michel Lévy who refused to publish a new edition of the earlier volumes which would have contained the stories in Histoires grotesques et sérieuses.
Alchemy and Amalgam: Translation in the Works of Charles Baudelaire by Emily Salines