Outline & Digital Strategy

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Butter Archive #12: Outline and Digital Strategy

Outline:

I’ve made my outline on Gliffy and it is available to view HERE.

Digital Strategy:

My goal with this project is to create a fully functioning, interactive, and cross-platformed ebook. My main hope with this essay, as stated in my pitch and outline, is to explore what ebooks are, what projects are currently being produced, and most importantly, why ebooks should be thought of as a medium separate (although definitely related) to physical books. I’ve decided, therefore, to be very meta and make an ebook. I want to incorporate multi-media aspects, (music, animations, images, hypertext) but it will depend on what I can figure out. I’ve never made an ebook, and it might prove impossible (or at least impossible for me in my short time crunch) to make some of these things come to fruition. I believe that this way of presenting and constructing my thesis is the most effective in proving it’s legitimacy: hypothetically you would be holding in your hands the very artefact I feel more attention should be focused on creating. It will allow me to better understand what goes behind creating an ebook, what challenges it creates, and what unique possibilities it offers.

Sorry if I’ve posted this twice — my computer was acting up a bit!

Here is my outline
.

Here is what it looks like, visually.
Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 9.34.55 PM

Digital Strategy
I’ve chosen to present my project in Twine.

Twine appeals to me because it’s a relatively simple way to produce a text with multiple, nonlinear, branching pathways. I like having the freedom to introduce tangential arguments, and to allow the reader to read the essay in an order that interests them. I believe that this more closely replicates the way in which most people think and speak than the traditional linear academic essay does.

I also like the idea of attempting to use a medium intended for storytelling to present a nonfiction essay. I think this will be a good way to become familiar with the tool, and to test its limits. I think you always learn something new about a tool when you ask it to do something that it wasn’t strictly designed for. One issue I can see right off the bat is that the default theme fades in and out when someone clicks a link — this works perfectly well for fiction, but it’s disorienting for what I’m trying to do. That will be easy to fix outside the outline stage, and it will be good to be on the lookout for similar possible problems.

In a visual sense, the associative links that Twine makes between passages replicate the associative links that are made between various cards in a tarot deck. Part of my argument involves suggesting that the cards are part of a hyperlinked network. Accordingly, it seems fitting to write about them in a hyperlinked network.

Wanderlust: Outline & Digital Strategy

So my outline is completely old school (I do not have access to a scanner right now and don’t feel like illustrating it into a program because I always work with mind maps on paper much better than on technological platforms). It is a really rough outline and I didn’t include quotations, but hopefully you all understand the gist of my project.

Evernote Snapshot 20151028 214421

Digital Strategy:

I have chosen to use Postach.io as my digital platform to present my project on travel blogs. Postach.io transforms your Evernote notebook into a blog or website, therefore I would initially use my “Wanderlust” Evernote notebook which would then automatically transfer its content onto my Postach.io blog. This blog acts as the final destination where my peers will view my final project. I decided to use this platform to present my research because I assumed that a blogging platform would be a fitting tool considering the topic that is to be explored. Through my personal travel blog, I used WordPress to illustrate my thoughts and photos, however I wanted to engage with a challenging and new environment. I have no experience with either Evernote or Postach.io, so felt it would be appropriate to explore this platform in the midst of constructing my final project. Postach.io appears to have a simple layout for its blogs, and dare I say similar to Subtle, while also possessing aesthetic qualities that can be appealing to a wide audience. Links and images are clearly displayed, as I have discovered in the testing of the program, and I believe its simplicity will succeed in getting my message across. This message being that the visuals and the simplicity in the layout of information are the most effective strategies in convincing an audience to travel, which I believe Postach.io will replicate in its presentation of my research.

Outline and Digital Strategy

Outline

I produced my outline on Gliffy, so the link to my outline is here. (Let me know if the link doesn’t work for some reason and I can send it again.)

Digital Strategy

I selected Storify for my final project mainly because I believe it is going to challenge me to turn to social media for current evidence of where my argument stands today. Storify gives me the opportunity to take my argument and make it aesthetically appealing to our generation because I believe the topics of pseudonyms and gender bias (in print or digital writing) are things that we should be made more aware of. I want to incorporate the voices of Twitter, as well as critics and modern writers that I have researched, to portray a range of views on the power of pseudonyms, past and present. Storify may not seem like the conventional choice for this type of project, but pseudonyms are not a conventional topic. Pseudonyms provoke controversial opinions and take on brave authors who are willing to tackle criticisms from the public eye.

The other component for my project, the creative experiment where I am writing on Medium under a male pseudonym, will link to Storify through the “embed URL” tab, which allows me to directly connect the two pieces. Medium was selected for the experiment because I will be comparing the pseudonym account’s statistics to my real and recent Medium account.

I did not select Storify because I thought it was going to be easy. I selected it because I wanted to challenge the conventional way I originally saw this project. I plan to utilize this platform to not only shape the way the project itself is presented, but re-shape the way I have learned to write digitally.

Outlines

Outlines can go up here (use the Outlines Category) or in the Dropbox in Courselink.

Format doesn’t matter, just legibility. Ditto with writing: feel free to use point form and don’t worry about the grammar.

Try to give some sense of the organization or structure of the component parts of your project; both how you structure and how you convey that structure  will be very dependent upon what tool or platform you are using to produce your project.

Annotated Bibliography: Lost in Translation

AlBzoor, Baseel Ali. “Semantic and Pragmatic Failure in Translating Literary Texts: Translators’ Inconsistency And/or Textual Resistance.” Ph.D. Purdue University, 2011. ProQuest. Web. 23 Oct. 2015.

*AlBzoor explores the various problems that arise when one considers the structural makeup of different languages, and the editorial and semantic choices a translator must make in order to produce a coherent translation in a new language. He excuses semantic drawbacks and mistakes as being both “condemnable” but still “pertinent to meaning at the lexical and phrasal levels” (AlBzoor ix.)

Borges, Jorge Luis, and Suzanne Jill Levine. “Some Versions of Homer.” PMLA 107.5 (1992): 1134–1138. JSTOR. Web.

*Borges and Levine discuss translation as the problem that is most “essential to literature and its small mysteries” (1136). They effectively place translations not as inferior to the original text, but more so as important methods of re-evaluation, not dissimilar to watching a film for the second time. They also bring to light the question of fidelity to the original text, with the conclusion that a literal translation and one that has taken certain artistic liberties are both faithful to the original text and deserve to be considered as serious contributions to the original text.

Braund, Susanna. “Translation as a Battlefield: Dryden, Pope and the Frogs and Mice.” International Journal of the Classical Tradition 18.4 (2011): 547–568. Print.

*Braund provides an interesting insight into the world of translation by looking at it through the lens of a battlefield metaphor. She also states insightfully that translation not only has literary implications, but also moral and political ones, as each new translation is created in a way that represents its own socio-political framework.

Chamberlain, Lori. “Gender and the Metaphorics of Translation.” Signs 13.3 (1988): 454–472. Print.

*Chamberlain places translation in a gendered context, more specifically speaking of translation in terms of paternity. She claims that in order for a translation to be considered legitimate, the translator must “usurp the author’s role” (Chamberlain 456). In other words, the translator becomes a paternal figure who must preserve the chastity of the female text (456). This viewpoint places in intriguing spin on the politics of translation.

Cohn, Ruby. “Samuel Beckett Self-Translator.” PMLA 76.5 (1961): 613–621. JSTOR. Web.

*Cohn presents an interesting view on the study of translation, discussing Samuel Beckett’s acts of auto-translation, rather than translations performed by another author on an original work. Through her adept analysis, we get a particularly poignant statement on the difficulties of translation, mainly that even an author translating his own work runs into problems of language, where the translation must make some exceptions to allow for lack of perfect transferability between the two languages.

Danby, Nicola Doone. “The Space between: Self-Translators Nancy Huston and Samuel Beckett.” M.A. York University (Canada), 2003. ProQuest. Web. 23 Oct. 2015.

*Danby, like Cohn enters the less popular critical stream of discussing self-translation. She raises the question of how one is best served in approaching a self translated text, that is, whether to approach it as one approaches the original, or as a translation, or does the reader have to approach a self-translated text in some hybrid form, considering both original and translation side by side rather than one after the other. Her somewhat narrow approach (looking only at a couple isolated examples) nonetheless provides some important insights into this niche field of criticism.

Geddes, A. G. “Homer in Translation.” Greece & Rome 35.1 (1988): 1–13. Print. Second Series.

*Geddes looks at translation through a different perspective than many of the other critics I’ve researched here. He looks at translation through the lens of a university professor who has always only based his understanding of Homer’s Iliad on its original Greek composition, not through its translations. In this work he relates his growing fondness for English translations of the text and their many virtues which he previously attributed only to the original. Like some of the other scholars, he sees artistry and variation in translation to be a benefit, as much as it is problematic.

Lewis, Charlton T. “Mr. Bryant’s Translation of the Iliad.” The North American Review 112.231 (1871): 328–370. Print.

*Lewis, first and foremost, emphasizes the massive cultural import of Homer’s epics, claiming them to be singularly more crucial than any other text to the world of literary production. He goes on to say, interestingly, that it is the mere impossibility of recreating such a magnificent text in a translation that has lead to “the inspiration of genius” in those who have attempted it (Lewis 349). In making this claim he also makes an implicit comment on some of the difficulties of translating a texts like those of Homer’s, but praises those who make the effort.

McMurran, Helen. “Translation as Offence: The Case of Desfontaines.” Translation and Literature 17.2 (2008): 150–164. Print.

*McMurran discusses translation in a slightly different context than many of the other scholars here. Rather than discussing the nature of translation of ancient texts, she seeks to inspect the implications of translating a contemporary text. She explores whether a translator working on a current text has the same freedoms and liberties of style as one working on a translation from an ancient text. She delicately traverses the question of whether translation is an offence on the original, or if it is an original piece of authorship in itself, advocating, correctly I think, for the latter.

 

Shorrock, Robert. “The Values of Translation: Contestation and Creativity in Homer’s English ‘Iliads.’” International Journal of the Classical Tradition 10.3/4 (2003): 438–453. Print.

*Shorrock, like Mcmurran, advocates for the status of original authorship for the translator. He enters this discussion through an analysis of several different translations of the same passage from Homer’s Iliad, noting all of the particularities in each of these different translations. Most importantly to his work is the claim that “translations are actively fashioned texts that demand consideration in their own right” (Shorrock 438).

 

SUMMARY:

It seems that in the study of translation, there is one question that reigns as paramount: that is, the question of the authorship and authority of the translator and his work compared to that of the original text he is translating. Nearly all of the above works deal with this question in some form, and most of them seem to agree that the translator is not merely a passive observer and replicator of the original text, but at the very least one who adds to the original, and more often than not, one who is creating his own original text, within the context of the original. That said, at the same time most of the scholars above also agree that there are a series of problems associated with being a translator, mainly that there always comes a time when the gap between the languages of the original and the translation becomes too big to traverse, and the translator must make editorial decisions as to how to create a text that best represents the original. It is in these editorial decisions that the question of authorship becomes most important. How many changes can a translator make before his text becomes entirely separate from the original? What sorts of changes are allowed, and which ones are more of an offense to the original than a benefit to the translation? These questions run through nearly all scholarly discussions of translation, and can only lead to a further exploration of the topic before any definitive statements can be made.

 

Word Count: 255