Four of Christopher’s Gaelic poems have appeared in the summer 2017 issue ‘A Blossom Shroud’ of the authoritative London-based review Modern Poetry in Translation, edited by Sasha Dugdale, in Niall O’Gallagher’s translations. Three come from Dealbh Athar, the collection which has sexual abuse by one’s father as its main focus, and include the harrowing graveside poem ‘Ruigidh tu oir na h-uaigh’, which actually takes place inside the grave and underneath the ground. The poems appear alongside translations from Chinese, Hungarian, Russian and Spanish, as well as a block of translations marking the Shubbak festival of Arab culture.
Christopher’s essay ‘Revisiting Feinstein’s Tsvetaeva: When Spring is not a Spring’ has appeared in Translation and Literature 26.2, edited by Stuart Gillespie and Andrew Radford at Glasgow University, where it is the featured article on the magazine’s website. It is a courageous piece which raises issues of abridgement, rewriting and omission in some of the later translations Feinstein has published of Tsvetaeva’s work, on the basis of English versions supplied by a range of collaborators. The conclusion insists on the need for a nuanced assessment of Feinstein’s contribution which pays due tribute to her groundbreaking role in introducing Tsvetaeva’s poetry to English-speaking readers.
The magazine Litteraria Pragensia brought out by the Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic, is devoting its latest issue to Scottish Literature, which features an essay by Christopher entitled ‘Talking Trees: Narratology of the Ariostan Switch’. Based on a talk given at a day conference highlighting the contribution made by Professor Ronald Jack to Scottish Studies, the essay takes its inspiration from Jack’s monograph on the Italian influence in Scottish Literature and pursues a narratological approach to Ariosto’s masterpiece, proposing that the joins between one episode and another may be as crucial as the episodes themselves in determining the nature of the poem. The second section examines the Scots abridgement by John Stewart of Baldynneis, Roland Furious, which, published in 1590, preceded by one year Sir John Harington’s more celebrated translation into English, indicating that from a narratological point of view, despite dealing with the same figures and a selection of episodes from Ariosto, the poem which results is radically different in its overall nature and effect.