Baltic accent

2021 Vol. 12 №3

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On the less obvious manifestations of the poetic function: a translator’s view



The paper examines the interaction of the poetic function with the emotive and expressive functions in belles-lettres texts. The authors attempt to prove that the poetic function should not be equated with the aesthetic one. The former overlaps all the above-mentioned func­tions, but alone bears the responsibility for the form-content fusion. The paper focuses on the less evident mechanisms of the poetic function, beyond the obvious effect of tropes and figures of speech. Not unlike meiosis, its allegedly weaker ‘voice’ is capable of producing a much strong­er effect, which can be discerned in rhythm and punctuation, in the absence of rhyme to in­duce an implicit rhymed word, in “elaborately monotonous” language, in textual opposi­tion of synonyms, in expressly neutral and unemotional final phrases to evoke a train of emo­tive or intellectual reactions. The authors also suggest a functional approach to the notion of “poetic device”, which gives the translator more freedom in selecting expressive means with­out dis­torting the conceptual sphere of the original. An inter-semiotic view of literary devices bor­rowed from cinematic art proves the inimitability of the effect of the same device within the total conceptual structure of each text. Some of the propositions suggested are il­lustrated by excerpts of poetic translation done by the authors of the paper.


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