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John Tranter: “Poetry and the Trace” conference paper, July 2008

Feints, Apparitions and Modes of Locomotion:
The Influence of Anxiety in the Poetry of John Tranter

[»»] Download this paper: prepared for the Monash University “Poetry and the Trace” International Conference held at the State Library of Victoria, Melbourne from 13 to 16 July 2008. To read this 94-page paper you will need a program capable of reading PDF files, such as Apple’s Preview (Mac OS), or Foxit (Windows) or Adobe [»»] Acrobat reader (for Windows, MacOSX, Unix/Linux, iOS, or Android).

Abstract: For decades now John Tranter has been stealing other people’s poems and doing things to them: translating them, mistranslating them, rewriting them, poking them with a stick, and then publishing them and calling them his own. It’s about time people knew what he has been up to while our backs were turned. This paper spills the beans, stirs in some chilli powder, heats them up and presents them for your enjoyment.
Most of the poems discussed are available in [»»] Urban Myths: 210 Poems: New and Selected, (UQP, 2006) by John Tranter.

Contents: Preamble
A bad start, 1963: Stealing A.D. Hope’s rhymes
Replacing the metaphor: ‘An Absolutely Extraordinary Recital’
Translation: Staking a claim: Callimachus and others
Translation as Treason: ‘After Rilke’
Translation: Homophonomania: Mocking Mallarmé
Machine Translation: Tom Haltwarden and Joy H. Breshan
Machine Translation: Different Hands
Machine Translation: “The Malley Variations”
Machine Translation: Listening to Mr Ashbery
Machine Translation: Speaking French
Trimming the fat: Five Quartets
Trimming the fat: The Tempest and Blackout
Acrostics and Double Acrostics
Replacing the Chicken in the Sandwich: The Anaglyph
    Appendix 1: Desmond’s coupé
    Appendix 2: Electrical Disturbance: A dramatic interlude
    Appendix 3: Five Quartets
    Appendix 4: Brian Henry: John Tranter’s New Form(alism): The Terminal
    Appendix 5: The Anaglyph

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