Course Description: About two decades ago, English Departments began to shift away from English national literature to literatures in the English language across the globe.  The questions remain, however:  What is English?  How English is English?  We will pursue these questions in relation to translation theory, the history of the English language, idioms, sounds, puns, etymologies, highly challenging canonical literature that is rarely ever taught in English Departments. We will focus on Dictionary of Untranslatables, Vladmir Nabokov on translations of Russian literature into English; Juan Luis Borges, “Pierre Menard, Author of Don Quixote”; Thomas Malory’s Le Morte Dartur, a fifteenth-century English translation and compilation of French romances; Tobias Smollet’s Don Quixote, considered as an eighteenth-century English novel in its own right, alongside Cervantes' Spanish novel; and James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, regarded as a polyglot literary work of linguistic decolonization and dissemination.  

Readings will include:

Dictionary of Untranslatables: A Philosophical Lexicon (Translation/Transnation)
by Barbara Cassin (Editor), Emily Apter (Editor), Jacques Lezra (Editor), Michael Wood (Editor)

Le Morte Darthur: The Winchester Manuscript (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – December 15, 2008
by Thomas Malory (Author), Helen Cooper (Editor)
with particular attention to the selections on Sir Tristram.

The History and Adventures of the Renowned Don Quixote (The Works of Tobias Smollett Ser.) Paperback – January 15, 2014
by Miguel Saavedra (Author), Martin Battestin (Editor), O Brack Jr. (Editor), Jerry Beasley (Series Editor)

Don Quijote de la Mancha (Real Academia Española) (Real Academia Espanola) (Spanish Edition)
de Cervantes, Miguel

Finnegans Wake. James Joyce (Oxford World's Classics (Paperback)) Revised ed. Edition
by James Joyce (Author)