Translation, rewriting and the marginal city in Geraldine Monk's Escafeld Hangings

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Geraldine Monk's 2005 poetry collection Escafeld Hangings presents the city of Sheffield via a reworking of letters and textual fragments by Mary Queen of Scots and other sources. This article explores a set of connections between Monk's approach to language and her representation of city space. Looking at the city as a site of encounter between different languages, I argue that Monk's work uses forms of translation to reconfigure relationships between place and language, addressing both constructions of nationhood and the homogenizing effects of English as a global language by focusing on locality, heterogeneity and diachronic variation. I show firstly how her interrogation of proper nouns becomes a means of questioning the structures that define the city and its relationships of class and gender, and secondly how the transpositions between texts by Mary Queen of Scots and Monk's versions of them simultaneously evoke and displace the poetic subject, presenting the city as haunted by its margins.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-196
JournalTranslation Studies
Volume4
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 11 Apr 2011
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