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Translating the Lieutenant Nun: (Re)reading and (Re)writing an Early Modern Text and BodyFebruary Monday 5th 6pm
Emily Rose, UEABateman room, Gonville & Caius College, Trinity Street
Catalina de Erauso (1585-1650), aka the Lieutenant Nun, escaped a nunnery at the age of fifteen dressed as a boy. ‘She’ travelled to the Americas to fight as a soldier, duelled, gambled, stole, was imprisoned multiple times until ‘she’ eventually confessed to being a woman. Ze wrote of hir adventures and obtained dispensation from the king and the Pope to continue living as a man. In this talk, Emily Rose (UEA) will discuss Erauso’s memoir and the fact that ze uses both feminine and masculine gender markers to refer to hirself, sometimes in the same sentence. Translation is a performance which always requires creativity; through a queer reading the translator is no longer expected to give an absolutely ‘faithful’ representation of the ‘essential’ body of the source text because all bodies and texts are multiple and undecidable. Erauso demonstrates that bodies and texts are undecidable and through translation we can bring an early and significant piece of ‘transgender’ literature to a twenty-first-century audience.

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