Publication Date

April 2016

Advisor(s)

Indira Karamcheti, Joseph Fitzpatrick

Major

College of Letters, French Studies

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

Léon-Gontran Damas, a groundbreaking poet from French Guiana, is one of the founding fathers of the negritude movement. He is less read than his fellow co-founders because he pursued academia later in life rather than politics, and because his later poetry, starting with Graffiti, explored personal pain rather than political struggle. As it has never before been translated into English, I have endeavored to make Graffiti accessible to an Anglophone readership, using a style close to Damas’ own. Included with my translation is an introduction covering biography and literary criticism of the text. Also included is a discussion of the problems the book presents to the translator, with reference to theories by Susan Bassnett, David Bellos, Friedrich Schleiermacher, and Lawrence Venuti.

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