Translating Literariness: Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl” Vs Ukë Zenel Buçpapaj’s “Kujë”


  • Ilda Poshi Faculty of Philology and Education Sciences, Department of English Language and Literature, Bedër University, Tirana, Albania



literariness, poetry translation, art of translation, cultural/ linguistic disparities, comparison


Prior to being accepted as a real and systematic discipline translation has been lengthily considered a multi-sided driving force used to enable multi-cultural/linguistic communication. As experience shows, translation was born as a practical endeavour to convey social, historical and cultural disparities between countries and only in the 1960s, thanks to Holmes, it was recognised as a solid discipline inexorably intertwined with other disciplines. Moreover, and above all, translation is not just science, it is not a mere process of decoding the encoded – it is an art. Such categorisation is what made Otokar Fischer and other scholars faithfully promote translation as an interface between science and art. This is what this research will try to encompass. We will see how in literary translation, the art of translating marries the theory so that to explain the uniqueness of this discipline. In addition, we will see the concept of literariness as an element of paramount importance in literary translation and especially in poetry, the most sublime aka most problematic genre of literature. As P.B Shelley confesses in A Defence of Poetry: “Poetry ... awakens and enlarges the mind itself by rendering it the receptacle of a thousand unapprehended combinations of thought. Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar; it reproduces all that it represents, and the impersonations clothed in its Elysian light stand thenceforward in the minds of those who have once contemplated them, as memorials of that gentle and exalted content which extends itself over all thoughts and actions with which it coexists. (P.B. Shelley, 1904, 33). Dynamic equivalence is the key to achieve the explanation of complex phenomena through simpler phenomena happening in literary translation and especially in poetry. Through an inductive-descriptive method we aim at bringing light to how and to what extent literariness can be translated by analysing coram Allen Ginsberg’s Howl and its translation in Albanian Kujë by Ukë Zenel Buçpapaj. This way we will see the essential and irreplaceable niche literariness occupies in poetry translation.