Past event

CPI Research Seminar with Professor Francesc Parcerisas Poetry in times of distress: for and against translation

Professor Parcerisas will discuss two subjects which are somehow connected. First, Robert Frost's dictum: “Poetry is what is lost in translation” and secondly “the zero degree of translation”: when translation between two languages of dissimilar use and status becomes a danger for the translated language.

Francesc Parcerisas is a distinguished Catalan poet, diarist, scholar and translator. He taught for many years in the Department of Translation Studies at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. In 1998-1999, he was the President of the Associació d'Escriptors en Llengua Catalana. Between 1998 and 2004, he was the Director of the Institució de les Lletres Catalanes, and subsequently he became its Dean.

He published his first book of poetry, Vint poemes civils, in 1967. His most celebrated collection, L'edat d'or (1983), is one of the landmarks of modern and contemporary Catalan poetry. Since then, he has published Amulet verd (1991), Focs d'octubre (1992), Natura morta amb nens (2000), Dos dies més de sud (2006), and Seixanta-un poemes (2014).

Professor Parcerisas has also written two diaries: La primavera a Pequín (2013) and Un estiu (2018) and is the author of several scholarly books, including L'objecte immediat (1991) and Sense mans. Metàfores i papers sobre la traducció (2013). The list of authors whose work he has translated into Catalan or Spanish is very long: Seamus Heaney, Ezra Pound, Bertrand Russell, J. R. R. Tolkien, Henri Michaux, Arthur Rimbaud and Cesare Pavese, among others. His most recent work is the edition of his correspondence with the late Catalan scholar and translator Josep Miquel Sobrer: Epistolari Francesc Parcerisas & Josep Miquel Sobrer (2020).