Translating the Old Occitan Romance of Enimia for #AcWriMo (1)



National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is happening at the moment in the USA, there’s Academic Writing Month (AcWriMo) worldwide this month too, and there was National Translation Month (NTM) in September. And then there’s a wobbly intermediate intersecting zone, of translating old stuff into new stuff. Welcome to the first post of the serialised Saint Enimia from the Bertran de Marcilia Old Occitan poem. This translation is one of my writing projects this academic year; on which, see “Remembering there’s a HAG in hagiography, Saint Enimia on her feast-day” (6 October 2018) and some older posts

The translation at the moment is somewhere between prose and free verse and may end up as multiple versions, formally or generically, including a freer “once upon a time” story. It may also change along the way as I am awaiting an inter-library loan of a journal article that I hope includes a fresh complete transcription of the manuscript (which may change everything), and it is remotely possible that the manuscript might be digitised and made freely available online at some point this year; so perhaps this Saint Enimia will have shaped herself up sufficiently for fine-tuned versification in our southern neighbo(u)rs’ National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo, another acronym that sounds like a marvellous monster) next April. Assuming that our neighbours still have poetry then; and hoping that all literary, intellectual, and artistic life survives and thrives.



is at a shiny new site devoted to herself:

  • welcome and some contextual material: a selection of useful Wikipedia references and a collection and collage of my attempts to talk about Old Occitan literature and literary culture on Twitter. The last of these (6) is a longer Twitter thread that I’ve tidied up somewhat and reformatted as continuous text.
  • a bibliography to provide free open fully accessible resources for further adventures in Old Occitan: manuscripts, transcriptions and editions, language (dictionaries and grammar), criticism, literary history, historical and cultural studies, and some classic introductory books (in many libraries and available through inter-library loan).
  • the beginning: the Occitan text of episode 1: lines 1-120
  • coming up next: a first translation of episode 1 (bilingual: Old Occitan on the left, modern English version on the right)
  • then the next episode: adolescence, impending doom, and a miracle (lines 121-236)
  • and then a first translation of that second episode
  • and so on, in similar fashion


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