“Words for Music Perhaps,” A Reading by Tom Bishop

“Words for Music Perhaps,” A Reading by Tom Bishop FebruaryFeb 18 2022 03:15pm - 04:15pm

Tom Bishop, the first Stonum Family Visiting Writer in Residence, will give a series of lectures at Case Western Reserve University from Feb. 18 to Feb. 25. The series will be sponsored by the Stonum Family Fund, Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities, the Department of English and Writers House. Each event is free and open to the public.

Schedule of events

“Words for Music Perhaps,” A Reading by Tom Bishop

Friday, Feb. 18
3:15 to 4:15 p.m.
Guilford House, Parlor

Translating verse-lyrics for singing presents particular challenges of shape and rhythm, different from those presented by reading only. This talk presents some examples of these challenges in art-song texts originating in French and German, themselves very different languages in syntax and prosody, including lyrics by Goethe, Hölderlin, and Gautier, among others, with musical settings by Berlioz, Schumann, and Richard Strauss. 

This event is co-sponsored by the Department of English and Writers House.

“Speaking and Dying: Jane Lumley, Euripides, and the Origins of English Tragedy”

Tuesday, Feb. 22
4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Clark Hall, 206

Jane Fitzalan, Lady Lumley (1537-1578), is the first person known to have translated a play in a classical language into English: Euripides’ Iphigenia in Aulis in about 1550, when she was in her teens. The play was unpublished until the early 20th century, and has recently attracted additional attention. 

Incorporating reflections on the experience of a reading performance of the play, Bishop will look at Lumley’s translation, its style, its background, and its cultural moment to explore why she chose this work, how she went about translating it, and why she made the choices she did in doing so. 

This event is co-sponsored by the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities.

“Translation Master Class”

Thursday, Feb. 24
4 to 6 p.m.
Guilford House, Room 223

What kinds of things do we have to know and pay attention to in order to translate poetry from one language to another? How well do we have to know either language, and in what ways? What tools can help us? What is at stake when we speak of a translation as being “faithful,” “accurate,” “free,” and so on? 

This workshop will consider these questions as both theoretical and practical matters, using specific examples and works in progress—principally short poems. Ideally, participants should have a working or reading knowledge, but do not need fluency, in one language other than English, and bring along a poem in that language that they are working on or would like to work on, together with some ideas of the challenges it presents.

About the speaker

Bishop was born and educated in Melbourne, where he took a BA in English Language and Literature with First Class Honours (1982) and was the University’s Shakespeare Scholar. He received a PhD from Yale University (1988), and taught at Yale and at Case Western Reserve University in the US. He is professor and a former head of English at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, where he teaches Shakespeare, Renaissance literature and drama. He is the author of Shakespeare and the Theatre of Wonder (Cambridge, 1996), the translator of Ovid’s Amores (Carcanet, 2003), editor of Pericles, Prince of Tyre (Internet Shakespeare Editions) and a continuing general editor of the annual Shakespearean International Yearbook (Routledge). He has published on Elizabethan music, Shakespeare, Jonson, court masques, Australian literature, the Renaissance Bible and other topics. He is currently editing Shakespeare’s As You Like It for the Arden series, and working on a book titled Shakespeare’s Theatre Games.

Significant increases in COVID-19 cases nationally and in our region require Case Western Reserve to enhance efforts to reduce transmission risks on campus. Masks must be worn indoors—preferably KN95s or at least surgical ones; cloth masks are strongly discouraged.

In addition, only those who are fully vaccinated (i.e., have received the booster, if eligible) should attend any campus event. Leaders continue to monitor pandemic developments and will adjust health protocols as circumstances warrant.

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