(Contributed by Valéria M. Souza)
On Wednesday evening, November 17, 2010, more than 40 guests, including faculty, staff, and students from the University of Massachusetts Boston as well as several neighboring institutions, gathered in Healey Library to attend a talk by internationally acclaimed translator Richard Zenith, entitled “Translating Fernando Pessoa and His Personas.” The lecture, collaboratively organized by Professors Diego Mansilla (Translation) and Valéria M. Souza (Portuguese), was sponsored by the Department of Hispanic Studies Translation Program.
Richard Zenith, who translated numerous texts by Lusophone poets and authors including Fernando Pessoa, João Cabral de Melo, José Luís Peixoto, and António Lobo Antunes, is also the author of short stories and poetry in Portuguese. He recently published a photo biography on Pessoa (Temas & Debates, 2010) and is currently working on a biography of the poet. Mr. Zenith’s book Fernando Pessoa & Co: Selected Company (Grove Press) won the 1999 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation, and his new version of Pessoa’s Book of Disquiet (Penguin) was awarded the 2002 Gulbenkian Prize for Portuguese Translation. Mr. Zenith visited the University of Massachusetts Boston this month as part of an international speaking tour.
During last week’s talk, attendees first had the opportunity to gain relevant background information about Fernando Pessoa and his heteronyms, presented by the translator in a lively and engaging format, before participating in a workshop-style question and answer session, in which Mr. Zenith responded to translation students’ many enthusiastic inquiries regarding the challenges involved in working with some specific poems, namely Pessoa’s famous “Autopsychography” and “Tobacco Shop.”
Because the talk drew a substantial audience comprised of individuals with a diverse array of interests—ranging from Portuguese and Spanish language students, professional translators, and translation students to scholars and students of literature—it not only stimulated thought-provoking discussion, but also served as a valuable means of strengthening interdisciplinary and interdepartmental connections among different programs in the humanities at UMass Boston.
The Department of Hispanic Studies Translation Program at the University of Massachusetts Boston presents: “Translating Fernando Pessoa and His Personas”, by Richard Zenith.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at 5:30 PM
Healey Library, 11th floor, Room 0011A
This event is free and open to the public! [Conference and discussion to be held in English]
Richard Zenith is an internationally-known editor and translator of Portuguese prose and poetry. His Fernando Pessoa & Co: Selected Company (Grove Press) won the 1999 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation, and his new version of Pessoa’s Book of Disquiet (Penguin) was awarded the 2002 Gulbenkian Prize for Portuguese Translation. Zenith’s translations also include Education in Stone: Selected Poems (Archipelago Books), by Brazilian poet João Cabral de Melo, and four novels by António Lobo Antunes (Grove/Atlantic). He is also the author of short stories and poetry in Portuguese.
Mr. Zenith will also give a talk entitled “Fernando Pessoa and the Portuguese New State circa 1930” at UMass Dartmouth
Congratulations to Angie Melchin, Latin American Studies concentrator who graduated in 2010. Angie is an invited participant in an exhibition commemorating the women killed in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.
The exhibition, entitled “400 Women,” will be held in the Shoreditch Town Hall, in London, England, from 12-28 November 2010. This project was conceived by artist Tamsyn Challenger in response to the brutal murder and rape of more than 400 women over a decade in the border town of Ciudad Juárez and the state of Chihuahua, Mexico. Some 200 exceptional artists were invited to paint an image, based on the Mexican tradition of retablos, of one of the murdered women. Tamsyn Challenger has written that the project originated in 2005, when she was commissioned by BBC radio 4’s Woman’s Hour. Challenger went to Mexico and met with families of the victims. She believes that each of the images created for the exhibition “will stand as a statement against gender violence” as well as against the impunity with which the perpetrators of the murders – and of violence against women in general — continue to operate.
The exhibition raises important questions about collective commemoration of the dead and disappeared. Challenger has obtained over 100 images of the murdered women through Amnesty International, the group Nuestra Hijas de regreso a casa, and the Casa Amiga Rape Crisis centre in Ciudad Juárez. When no image is extant, the artists have incorporated the woman’s name into the piece, as Angie has done in her etching.