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Littau, Karin

Translation and optical media: spirit-channeling in Edward FitzGerald’s Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám. Karin Littau
Amodern 8, 2018.

Abstract: This essays gives a snapshot of the mid-Victorian period to address the ways in which Edward FitzGerald, wittingly or unwittingly, co-opted optical media into his translational practice and theory. His stance on translation – like that of his contemporary Dante Gabriel Rossetti – while imbued with older cultural beliefs and practices, such as the transmigration of spirits and souls, is also strikingly contemporary when it comes to one of the key media technologies of his age: the magic lantern. The focus on these little noticed connections between translation and optical media is intended as a step towards a more comprehensive media history of translation that pays attention to translation not only in the familiar contexts of oral and written cultures, but also in visual and screen cultures.

Keywords: optical media; translation theory; victorian poetry; visual arts

Online available at: http://amodern.net/article/translation-optical-media/