Thank you to Melanie for her presentation on Peaceful Dream, and Xinyu for her presentation on Zui Yong Shi. It seems to me that there were many common thematics in the pieces they selected – the dream like quality of both poetic compositions, and the timeless and meditative quality that emerges when experiencing our own interactivity with these texts. We are all lucky to have benefitted from Melanie & Xinyu’s deeper understanding of the mandarin language (as well as the literary traditions referenced in these two works). We discussed Ottar Omstead’s use of “letter carpets” transposed with Chinese ideographs in combination with images, videos and music. We also discussed the pentatonic melody of the Chinese WuYan JueJu poetry tradition – remixed here in a multimedia context by Ren Yang. In each case, the words connect to nature and feelings and a kind of romantic idealism, helping us to see the significance of nature (overall) in Chinese written tradition.
In many ways, I think our thoughtful discussion last week also highlights the multi-pronged ways in which translation is ever-present in our lives. The act of translation is a complex skill. Translation means to move meaning across a boundary. This work is being done constantly and is a vital part of living in our contemporary and global world. Each of us must “translate” all day, all the time. We move meaning across boundaries – linguistically of course, but also in terms of cultural divides, or representational genres – like visual language, or sound too. These two texts ask us to slow down, and to pay attention to how we do that work. The selections last week were really paired together effectively, and have brought these overall translation concerns to light for us.
Your to-do list for this week:
Read: Jasmine M’s selection: The Infinite Woman
Read Jules’ selection: A Kiss
See you in our our CAS classroom next time (10/20)!