Yeats Reborn (2015) is a remarkable book (published in limited edition quantity) that aims to shed light upon W.B.Yeats’s work in translation. It involves the translation of Yeats’s poems, plays and prose, including an introduction by the editor, Hedwig Schwall, as well as notes on the translators, scholars and academics who participated in this unique one-year project organized by The European Federation of Associations and Centres of Irish Studies (EFACIS) in Leuven. 181 translations in 21 languages were produced of a selection of 35 poems, 5 plays and 5 essays from Yeats’ oeuvre. These translations were selected for the web publication at http://www.yeatsreborn.eu/ and the best 90 translations were selected by an expert panel in order to produce this book. The target languages are: Castilian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Dutch, Finnish, French, Gaeilge, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Latvian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Swedish, and Turkish.
Most of the selected poems, as Professor Schwall writes in her introduction to the project, “dealt in one way or another with being born, dying and being reborn – not only literally but metaphorically too” (http://www.yeatsreborn.eu/pages/about-yeats-reborn). Prof. Hedwig Schwall inaugurates the above project with the following quote from Dirk Delabastita’s “Literary Translation”, Handbook of Translation Studies: Volume 2. (Ed. Yves Gambier and Luc Van Doorslaer. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2011):
A poem is translated so that it “can ‘live on’ beyond the linguistic and cultural milieu of its origin and find ever new readerships. (Yeats Reborn, p.9)
Indeed, experiencing Yeats’s poems and plays in translation is going to offer you a new understanding of W.B. Yeats as a trans-national poet, and will promise to reveal to you all the wonderful new shapes that the translation of a culture can take!