Date of Award

Spring 4-21-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Modern Languages & Literature

First Advisor

Professor Victor Rodríguez-Núñez

Abstract

This project is a study and translation of the work of contemporary Bolivian poet, Gabriel Chávez Casazola (1972). The first section analyzes the poetics of Chávez Casazola, with special consideration of the social and cultural context of his work, from the perspective of postcolonial theory. The section argues Chávez Casazola’s work appropriates metropolitan cultural images, produced and disseminated from neocolonial powers, and uses them to represent a peripheral, distinctly Bolivian experience. Through a mix of influences and references, the poems present the hybridity of Bolivian culture, as a result of a transculturation process, during its colonial past and postcolonial present. This hybridity not only challenges cultural perceptions of Bolivia, but also resists cultural imposition through the use of cultural appropriation. The second section is a translator’s note, intended to demystify the process of translation and connect the translation choices to the character of the original text. The note also explores the social, cultural, and political implications of translation. The third section is an interview with Chávez Casazola, presented in Spanish and English, which investigates the poet’s experience and poetics. The last section offers a bilingual edition of the poet’s personal anthology, Cámara de niebla (2014). The anthology gives a view of the poet’s career thus far. A focus on postcolonial theory and cultural relations underlies each section of the project. While Chávez Casazola’s work embodies the cultural hybridity of Bolivia, translation also brings two distinct languages and cultures into conversation. The challenge, in both cases, is to mediate this hybrid space, striving for faithful representation. Although the project is presented in distinct parts, it forms a unified whole to offer an academic and creative approximation to the work of Chávez Casazola.

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