Theresa Mayer

On the Audacity of Poetic Practice.

This research work combines reflections on the peculiarity of poetic practice from three fields: literature itself, philology, and translation. With the keyword of audacity, a common moment of the same is to be highlighted: poetic practice as a transgressive gesture whose expansive movement necessarily deprives itself of its basis; be it in semantic, rhetorical, or epistemological terms: theories of metaphorical word meaning are of interest as well as the question of ironic speech and the fundamental relationship between literature and knowledge.
The impossibility of bringing a (poetic) text into equivalence, either with a foreign language translation or in the form of an interpretation, marks the scientific unground of philological knowledge and translation practice, which is directly related to the suspension of the real or of an appropriate, clear use of words. The audacity of poetic practice carries over to philological and translational work, which in turn combines a poetic and self-suspending moment.
Among the positions in literary studies and translation theory that will be of particular interest to the research project are Paul de Man, Peter Szondi, and Werner Hamacher, as well as Uljana Wolf. These are interesting not only from a theoretical point of view, but especially in their own affective stance, since audacity marks a close relationship between shame (looseness), rebellion, and composure. Authors and translators who make the audacity of poetic practice visible in various ways and will be examined more closely from a poetological point of view are Francis Ponge, Ilse Aichinger, Anne Carson, and Monika Rinck.