“(In)comparable poetries and transpacific networks of translation” Matsuo Bashō, Octavio Paz, and the creation of a Latin American Oku no Hosomichi

Manuel Azuaje-Alamo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In 1957, writing in Spanish, the Mexican poet Octavio Paz (1914–1998) published the first complete translation into a Western language of the famous travel diary Oku no Hosomichi (The Narrow Road to the Deep North, 1702) by Matsuo Bashō (1644–1694). A thoroughly revised second edition followed in 1970, which included freer translations of Bashō’s haikus. In this definite edition, Paz attempted to synthesize the poetic effect of Bashō’s work for a Latin American readership. By using a textual and archival-based approach, this article analyses Paz’s two Spanish versions against the Japanese original text and its intertextualizations of classical Chinese poetry and contextualizes the background behind the publication of these epoch-making translations. It highlights the textual refractions and translation issues that occur when East Asian literature circulates in the Global South and the transpacific literary networks that made these literary exchanges possible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)581-604
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of World Literature
Volume4
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Bashō
  • Classical Japanese literature
  • Haiku
  • Octavio Paz
  • Translation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Literature and Literary Theory

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