Gabriela Capraroiu’s research focuses on literature.
Gabriela Capraroiu, assistant professor of modern languages, addressed the linguistic boundaries present in the translation of Romanian literature written by exiled authors scattered throughout other countries.
A few students and several faculty and staff members witnessed the lecture Monday afternoon in the President’s Dining Room, titled “Montage: Visions of Romanian Modernism, 1918-1939.”
Capraroiu, who has worked on this topic in countries ranging from Spain and Romania to Chile, purposely left out the normal visuals for her lecture.
“I want to bring you closer to the words of the speech,” Capraroiu explained.
The lecture comes amidst years of a detailed research project that takes a look into Romanian scriptures and literature of the modern world that is not publishable due to their government’s political restrictions.
“Artists are the first people who are targeted by these political regimes,” said Felicia Beardsley, interim associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
“The government sees them posing a threat because they communicate effectively, have a voice and are independent thinkers,” Beardsley said.
And when a government does not want its unfair actions communicated, it will exile those who have the power to voice their opinions.
When these artists criticize society, they have to do it indirectly in the form of an allegory or by obscure allusions to other symbolic representations to get their point across. In doing this, Romanian literature creates ideas and stories that cannot be shared with the world due to the limitations set by their government.
Capraroiu touched on the various languages that the exiled Romanian authors have had their work translated with the help of other literary geniuses. This is what she refers to in regards to modernization.
“Modernism is not in correlation to Western European modernization. It refers to profound change in arts from the late 19th century to the end of the World War,” Capraroiu said.
Specifically, Capraroiu refers to poets Pablo Neruda and Maria Teresa Leon, who have helped her topic of interest further into different avenues of research.
Writers like Neruda and Leon have helped the enrichment of ideas across linguistic boundaries and helped the cross-fertilization of language.
Capraroiu’s research shines light on the connectivity of humans in the world, even with the hundreds of forms of communications that exist.
“A lot of the theater and literature that we are exposed to is full of ideas once expressed in a native language,” Beardsley said.
“Capraroiu is looking in finite detail, how an idea in our language has passed from one language, to another language, to another language,” Beardsley said.
Jose Hernandez can be reached at email@example.com.