Renderings (a
    Trope Tank project)
Renderings was a project to translate computational literature into English. We not only employed established literary translation techniques, but also considered how computation and language interact. Literary and computational experts worldwide participated. The first phase of the project was completed in 2014 when many collaborators were at the Trope Tank at MIT in person; some additional work continued after this phase.


Those who have done translations, individually or collaboratively, that have been published as part of the project: Patsy Baudoin, Andrew Campana, Qianxun (Sally) Chen, Clara Fernandez-Vara, Zuzana Husarova, Aleksanda Małecka, Piotr Marecki, Nick Montfort (project lead), Ariane Savoie, and Erik Stayton.

Publications: The Translations

“Cadavres Exquis / Exquisite Corpses” by Philippe Henri trans. Nick Montfort & Ariane Savoie was published June 2018 in BASIC, in English translation and in the original French, running in an in-browser TRS-80 emulator in the digital edition of Vassar Review.

“Random Poetry” by Michal Murin trans. Nick Montfort & Zuzana Husarova was published July 28, 2017 in JavaScript and Python, in English translation and in the original Slovak, on the site Memory Slam.

The first phase of Renderings (13 works translated from 6 languages) was included in February 2016 in a special section of The Electronic Literature Collection, volume 3.

The first phase of Renderings (13 works translated from 6 languages) was published in December 2014 in Fordham University’s literary journal Cura.

Publications: About the Project

“Renderings: Translating literary works in the digital age.” By Piotr Marecki & Nick Montfort. Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, Volume 32, Issue suppl_1, 1 April 2017, Pages i84–i91,

“Two Radical Translation Projects: Renderings and Heftings.” Convolution 4, pp. 62–68, Fall 2016. [Only available in print.]

Discussions and Events

Wednesday October 8, 2014, 5:15pm

Marc Lowenthal

Renderings Conversation

A discussion of literary translation with Marc Lowenthal. Lowenthal is the founder of Wakefield Press, which translates and publishes quirky and "overlooked" works. He has personally translated works by French Surrealist Benjamin Péret, and Oulipian Georges Perec, among others.

Wednesday October 15, 2014, 8:00pm

Andrew Campana

A Reading at the Cantab

Andrew, one of the Renderings project collaborators, will be featuring at the Boston Poetry Slam, with a half-hour set of spoken word poetry at 10 p.m. following the open mic. Many of the poems will be based on his research in Japanese literature and popular culture, and there will also be readings of two of his bilingual Japanese/English digital poems.

Tuesday November 4, 2014, 5:15pm

David Ferry

A Reading at MIT

David Ferry will read some of his translation work at MIT.

Wednesday November 5, 2014, 5:15pm

John Cayley

Renderings Conversation

A discussion of literary translation with John Cayley. Cayley is a professor of Literary Arts at Brown University in Rhode Island, and is a publisher and translator as well as a poet, particularly known for his electronic poetic work.

Wednesday November 12, 2014, 5:15pm

David Ferry

Renderings Conversation

A discussion of literary translation with David Ferry. Ferry, like many of our other guests, is both a poet and translator. His rendering of Gilgamesh is particularly acclaimed, but he has also translated much of Virgil's work as well as Horace's Odes. He is the recipient of multiple awards including the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award and the National Book Award for Poetry.

Tuesday July 22, 2014, 11am-12:30pm

Robert Pinsky

"An Old Man," "Song on Porcelain," Dante's Inferno

We had our first event in the Renderings project, a conversation, on Tuesday July 22 at 11am. Our guest was Robert Pinsky, who is professor of English at Boston University, three-time poet laureate of the United States, and an award-winning literary translator. Prof. Pinksy is also the author of Mindwheel, an interactive fiction published in 1984.

The Trope Tank > Renderings