Poetic Translation as a Trans-Cultural Process of Enrichment: When Julio Herrera y Reissig Translated Albert Samain
Keywords:Julio Herrera y Reissig, Albert Samain, poetic translation, Modernism, contrastive analysis
This work focuses on the unusual, poetic affinity between the Uruguayan poet, Julio Herrera y Reissig (1875–1910), and the French poet, Albert Samain (1858–1900), that took shape in Julio Herrera y Reissig’s Spanish translation of some of Samain’s poems from his 1898 volume of poems Aux flancs du vase. Our objective is not to write a critical review of Herrera y Reissig's translations. Instead, we aim to identify the similarities between the two poets. Thus, our contrastive analysis will demonstrate the affinities between the French author and his Uruguayan translator. In this collection, Samain was able to transpose the emotions aroused in him by the radiant landscapes and by certain moments in his daily life into terse, sensual and harmonious verse. Even though his style did not in any way conform with the poetic world of Modernism, full of exotic fragrances, colours, swans and characters from the classic world, it gave Herrera y Reissig the opportunity to creatively rework the original text and produce some truly remarkable transformations. These poems in Alexandrine verse place nature centre stage, and the sensations shared by both poets are evoked by their choice of colours and fragrances, by their combinations of sound and the profusion of images of rare intensity.
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