In recent years, I have applied the notion of poetic thinking to translation theory. I am currently working on a monograph on Why Translation Transforms the World – A Poetic Thinking of Translation.
‘Is Translation Always Transmedial? Clive Scott’s Reader-Oriented Translation Theory and Practice’. Paper at the conference Transmedial Turn? Potentials, Problems, and Points to Consider, Tartu University, 8-11.12.2020
‘Buber/Rosenzweig’s and Meschonnic’s Bible Translations – Biblical Hebrew as Transformer of Language Theory and Society’. Invited paper at the Université de Montréal, Conférence du MIDI, Dépt. de Lingustique et de Traduction, Université de Montréal, 4.10.2018
‘Buber/Rosenzweig’s and Meschonnic’s Bible Translations – Biblical Hebrew as Transformer of Language Theory and Society’. Invited paper in the German Studies Dept., Brown University, Providence, RI, 1.10.2018.
I also applied the concept of Poetic Thinking to transnational literature and multilingualism. I received the ‘Seal of Excellence’ by the EU, Horizon 2020, in 2018 for a grant application on a planned monograph on Speaking in Tongues. Multilingualism, Literature and Planetarity.
For this project, I gave several papers:
The following publication resulted from the latter papers:
I also organized the following conference, 14-15 November 2019: 'Mehrsprachigkeit und das Politische in zeitgenössischer deutschsprachiger und baltischer Kultur', which resulted in the following publications:
Forthcoming: A volume on Paul Celan’s poetics, in collaboration with Prof Dr Karen Leeder (Oxford) and Prof Dr Michael Eskin (NY), to be published as Paul Celan at Today – A Companion with de Gruyter, series Companions to Contemporary German Culture, at the start of 2020, comprising over 20 contributions by leading international Celan-scholars and artists, including my chapter ‘Correspondences of and with Celan – Transfer Processes of Life’.
I received a British Academy research grant in 2017 for a project on the thinking language of Henri Meschonnic, financing a symposium at Queen Mary University of London on 22 September 2017 and two workshops (23 Sept 2017 / 24 Febr 2018) in view of the translation of key texts by Meschonnic for a Meschonnic Reader in English language. Six translators – Pier-Pascale Boulanger, Andrew Eastman, John Joseph, David Nowell Smith, Marko Pajević and Chantal Wright – translated over representative 300 pages of Meschonnic’s works in a cautiously designed collaboration, ensuring quality, consistency and correct terminology.
This resulted in a special issue of Comparative Critical Studies, Oct 2018, ed. by Marko Pajević and David Nowell Smith: Thinking Language with Henri Meschonnic, with an introduction and an article by myself;
and in The Henri Meschonnic Reader: A Poetics of Society, ed. by Marko Pajević, Edinburgh University Press, 2019, with a substantial introduction by myself.
Organised by Marko PajevićFunded by the British Academy / Leverhulme
Marko Pajević (QMUL/Centre Marc Bloch, Humboldt Universität Berlin): Welcome and Introduction
David Nowell Smith (UEA): The Dynamic Unfolding/Enfolding of SenseSerge Martin (Paris III – Sorbonne): Towards an Anthropology of the Voice with Henri Meschonnic
Respondent: Robert Gillett (QMUL)
Marko Pajević (QMUL/ Berlin): For a poetics of society: thinking language with Henri Meschonnic
Respondent: Rüdiger Görner (QMUL)
The talk by M. Pajević
John E. Joseph (Edinburgh): Language-Body Continuity in the Linguistics-Semiology-Poetics-Traductology of Henri MeschonnicClive Scott (UEA): Translating Rhythm into the Rhythm of Translation
Respondent: Rafael Costa Mendes (Paris III – Sorbonne)
Talk by J. E. Joseph
Talk by C. Scott
23 September 2017: translation workshop at QMUL for participants only
Other papers on Meschonnic are:
in Montréal: ‘A Poetics of Society: Thinking Language with Henri Meschonnic’, invited paper at the Université de Montréal, Seminar of Prof John Leavitt, Anthropology, 5.10.2018
Other Publications on Meschonnic:
Other papers and publications to promote the concept of poetic thinking include:
I received a British Academy research grant in 2016 for a project on the importance of Wilhelm von Humboldt’s thinking language today, financing a symposium at Queen Mary University of London on 29 April 2016 and resulting in a special issue of Forum for Modern Language Studies:Thinking Language. Wilhelm von Humboldt Now, editor together with David Nowell Smith, Special Issue of Forum for Modern Language Studies, Oxford UP, 53/1, Jan 2017
This volume offers studies on one of the crucial language thinkers at the basis of poetic thinking. Humboldt, albeit one of the most important language thinkers of all times and very influential particularly in Germany and France, has been little studied in Anglophone academia and this volume intends to trigger a more intensive reception of his work.
A Symposium at Queen Mary, University of London
Funded by British Academy/Leverhulme
29 April 2016
Marko Pajević (London): Welcome and Introduction
Chair and respondent: David Nowell Smith (East Anglia)John E. Joseph (Edinburgh): Wilhelm von Humboldt’s Reception in the Anglosphere, 1820-present
Introduction, talk by J. E. Joseph
Chair and respondent: James W. Underhill (Rouen)Jürgen Trabant (Berlin): Vanishing WorldviewsUte Tintemann (Berlin): Collecting Language Date: from Humboldt to the Language Archive
Talk by J. Trabant
Talk by U. Tintemann
Chair and respondent: Marko Pajević (London)James W. Underhill (Rouen): Humboldt in Translation Theory. Pearls of wisdom, or splashes in the ocean?Barbara Cassin (Paris): Humboldt, Translation, and the Dictionary of Untranslatables
Talk by J. W. Underhill
Talk by B. Cassin
Chair and respondent: Jürgen Trabant (Berlin)John Walker (London): Wilhelm von Humboldt and Dialogical ThinkingMarko Pajević (London): Humboldt’s ‘thinking language’: Poetics and Politics
Talk by J. Walker
Talk by M. Pajević
I also used a more popular form to disseminate some of the basic ideas in
And gave several papers on the concept:
This overarching project found its first concrete substantial manifestion in my habilitation (qualification for professorship) on Poetic Thinking and the Human. Foundations of a poetological Anthropology at the University of Rouen in 2012; published as
Poetisches Denken und die Frage nach dem Menschen. Grundzüge einer poetologischen Anthropologie, Karl Alber Verlag, Reihe Dia-Logik, Freiburg i.Br., 2012 (358 pp.).
In this book I develop a theory of poetic thinking based primarily on philosophico-historical anthropology, the linguistic anthropologies of Jürgen Trabant and Henri Meschonnic as well as the dialogical thought of Martin Buber, and I apply this approach to contemporary literature and film.
A presentation of this book is available here.
I presented some of the ideas in several papers:
My PhD-thesis on the poetics of Paul Celan initiated the project by establishing the connection of Celan’s poetics and the query about the human, demonstrating that this particular dealing with language represents a reflection on what it means to be human, not only thematically but also in its elaborated poetic forms; published as
Zur Poetik Paul Celans: Gedicht und Mensch – Die Arbeit am Sinn, Beiträge zur neueren Literaturgeschichte, Band 177, Universitätsverlag C. Winter, Heidelberg, 2000 (310 pp.)
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