''Drunken boat': Samuel Beckett's Translation of Arthur Rimbaud's 'Le Bateau ivre''

Gerald Macklin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    This paper examines in detail Samuel Beckett's translation of Arthur Rimbaud's famous poem 'Le Bateau ivre' in order to reveal the former's extraordinary linguistic skills and facility for moving between French and English. Beckett actually creates a new poem in its own right rather than simply producing a version or rendering of the Rimbaud text. Beckett's translation is remarkable for its verbal ingenuity, its rhythms and euphony and its endless flexibility which all set it apart from other stilted attempts to render 'Le Bateua ivre' in English. Beckett's work exposes salient features of Rimbaud's poetic expression while throwing light on his own linguistic inventiveness and amazing lexicon. The paper divides the translation into fours sections for the purpose of stanza by stanza analysis of its twenty five units - 'Setting Sail', 'The Voyage', 'Deceleration and Disenchantment', 'Closure'. Beckett shows a great receptivity to the entire tone of Rimbaud's work and his translation demands to be read aloud. It is remarkable for its fusion of accuracy and fidelity to the original with a flair that reflects both the Rimbaldian and the Beckettian aesthetic.
    LanguageEnglish
    Pages141-166
    JournalStudies in 20th and 21st Century Literature
    Volume27
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2003

    Fingerprint

    Samuel Beckett
    Boats
    Poem
    Stanza
    Poetics
    Rendering
    Voyager
    Fusion
    Receptivity
    Rhythm
    Render
    Euphony
    Aesthetics
    Linguistic Skills
    Closure
    Fidelity
    Lexicon
    Disenchantment
    Flair
    Salient

    Keywords

    • translation
    • fidelity
    • ingenuity
    • poem

    Cite this

    @article{9991e5bbc50040d180e7bd0040dbb74c,
    title = "''Drunken boat': Samuel Beckett's Translation of Arthur Rimbaud's 'Le Bateau ivre''",
    abstract = "This paper examines in detail Samuel Beckett's translation of Arthur Rimbaud's famous poem 'Le Bateau ivre' in order to reveal the former's extraordinary linguistic skills and facility for moving between French and English. Beckett actually creates a new poem in its own right rather than simply producing a version or rendering of the Rimbaud text. Beckett's translation is remarkable for its verbal ingenuity, its rhythms and euphony and its endless flexibility which all set it apart from other stilted attempts to render 'Le Bateua ivre' in English. Beckett's work exposes salient features of Rimbaud's poetic expression while throwing light on his own linguistic inventiveness and amazing lexicon. The paper divides the translation into fours sections for the purpose of stanza by stanza analysis of its twenty five units - 'Setting Sail', 'The Voyage', 'Deceleration and Disenchantment', 'Closure'. Beckett shows a great receptivity to the entire tone of Rimbaud's work and his translation demands to be read aloud. It is remarkable for its fusion of accuracy and fidelity to the original with a flair that reflects both the Rimbaldian and the Beckettian aesthetic.",
    keywords = "translation, fidelity, ingenuity, poem",
    author = "Gerald Macklin",
    note = "Reference text: C Baudelaire Oeuvres compl{\`e}tes 1, texte {\'e}tabli, pr{\'e}sent{\'e} et annot{\'e} par Claude Pichois, Biblioth{\`e}que de la Pl{\'e}iade, Gallimard, Paris, 1975 Samuel Beckett Cendres, Editions de Minuit, Paris, 1959 Samule Beckett 'Drunken boat': A Translation of Arthur Rimbaud's Poem 'Le Bateau ivre' eds. James Knowlson and Felix Leakey, Whiteknights Press, Reading, 1976 Peter Broome 'From Vision to Catastrophe in Rimbaud's Illuminations' FORUM FOR MODERN LANGUAGE STUDIES, vol 15, no 4, 1979, pp 361-379 Brian T Fitch Beckett and Babel: An investigation into the Status of the Bilingual Work, University of Toronto, Toronto, 1988 Ill Seen Ill sung, BBC Radio 3, Septmeber 5th 1999 G.M. Macklin 'A Study of Beginnings and Finales in Rimbaud's Illuminations', NEOPHILOLOGUS, vol 68, 1984, pp. 22-36 G.M.Macklin '{"}Finding the Formula{"}: Perspectives on the One-Liner in Arthur Rimbaud's Illuminations' FORUM FOR MODERN LANGUAGE STUDIES, vol 32, no 4, 1996, pp.329-342 G.M.Macklin 'Perspectives on the Role of Punctuation in Rimbaud's Illuminations' JOURNAL OF EUROPEAN STUDIES, vol 20, 1990, pp 59-72 Rimbaud Oeuvres, Edition de Suzanne Bernard et Andr{\'e} Guyaux, Classiques Garnier, Paris, 1987",
    year = "2003",
    language = "English",
    volume = "27",
    pages = "141--166",
    journal = "Studies in 20th and 21st Century Literature",
    issn = "0145-7888",
    number = "1",

    }

    ''Drunken boat': Samuel Beckett's Translation of Arthur Rimbaud's 'Le Bateau ivre''. / Macklin, Gerald.

    In: Studies in 20th and 21st Century Literature, Vol. 27, No. 1, 2003, p. 141-166.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - ''Drunken boat': Samuel Beckett's Translation of Arthur Rimbaud's 'Le Bateau ivre''

    AU - Macklin, Gerald

    N1 - Reference text: C Baudelaire Oeuvres complètes 1, texte établi, présenté et annoté par Claude Pichois, Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, Gallimard, Paris, 1975 Samuel Beckett Cendres, Editions de Minuit, Paris, 1959 Samule Beckett 'Drunken boat': A Translation of Arthur Rimbaud's Poem 'Le Bateau ivre' eds. James Knowlson and Felix Leakey, Whiteknights Press, Reading, 1976 Peter Broome 'From Vision to Catastrophe in Rimbaud's Illuminations' FORUM FOR MODERN LANGUAGE STUDIES, vol 15, no 4, 1979, pp 361-379 Brian T Fitch Beckett and Babel: An investigation into the Status of the Bilingual Work, University of Toronto, Toronto, 1988 Ill Seen Ill sung, BBC Radio 3, Septmeber 5th 1999 G.M. Macklin 'A Study of Beginnings and Finales in Rimbaud's Illuminations', NEOPHILOLOGUS, vol 68, 1984, pp. 22-36 G.M.Macklin '"Finding the Formula": Perspectives on the One-Liner in Arthur Rimbaud's Illuminations' FORUM FOR MODERN LANGUAGE STUDIES, vol 32, no 4, 1996, pp.329-342 G.M.Macklin 'Perspectives on the Role of Punctuation in Rimbaud's Illuminations' JOURNAL OF EUROPEAN STUDIES, vol 20, 1990, pp 59-72 Rimbaud Oeuvres, Edition de Suzanne Bernard et André Guyaux, Classiques Garnier, Paris, 1987

    PY - 2003

    Y1 - 2003

    N2 - This paper examines in detail Samuel Beckett's translation of Arthur Rimbaud's famous poem 'Le Bateau ivre' in order to reveal the former's extraordinary linguistic skills and facility for moving between French and English. Beckett actually creates a new poem in its own right rather than simply producing a version or rendering of the Rimbaud text. Beckett's translation is remarkable for its verbal ingenuity, its rhythms and euphony and its endless flexibility which all set it apart from other stilted attempts to render 'Le Bateua ivre' in English. Beckett's work exposes salient features of Rimbaud's poetic expression while throwing light on his own linguistic inventiveness and amazing lexicon. The paper divides the translation into fours sections for the purpose of stanza by stanza analysis of its twenty five units - 'Setting Sail', 'The Voyage', 'Deceleration and Disenchantment', 'Closure'. Beckett shows a great receptivity to the entire tone of Rimbaud's work and his translation demands to be read aloud. It is remarkable for its fusion of accuracy and fidelity to the original with a flair that reflects both the Rimbaldian and the Beckettian aesthetic.

    AB - This paper examines in detail Samuel Beckett's translation of Arthur Rimbaud's famous poem 'Le Bateau ivre' in order to reveal the former's extraordinary linguistic skills and facility for moving between French and English. Beckett actually creates a new poem in its own right rather than simply producing a version or rendering of the Rimbaud text. Beckett's translation is remarkable for its verbal ingenuity, its rhythms and euphony and its endless flexibility which all set it apart from other stilted attempts to render 'Le Bateua ivre' in English. Beckett's work exposes salient features of Rimbaud's poetic expression while throwing light on his own linguistic inventiveness and amazing lexicon. The paper divides the translation into fours sections for the purpose of stanza by stanza analysis of its twenty five units - 'Setting Sail', 'The Voyage', 'Deceleration and Disenchantment', 'Closure'. Beckett shows a great receptivity to the entire tone of Rimbaud's work and his translation demands to be read aloud. It is remarkable for its fusion of accuracy and fidelity to the original with a flair that reflects both the Rimbaldian and the Beckettian aesthetic.

    KW - translation

    KW - fidelity

    KW - ingenuity

    KW - poem

    M3 - Article

    VL - 27

    SP - 141

    EP - 166

    JO - Studies in 20th and 21st Century Literature

    T2 - Studies in 20th and 21st Century Literature

    JF - Studies in 20th and 21st Century Literature

    SN - 0145-7888

    IS - 1

    ER -