Posts Tagged: translation

Waiting for Wallace

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Despite its “near-canonical” status in America, David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest is taking its sweet time in the translation process. So far, it has only been translated into five other languages. At Lit Hub, Scott Esposito spoke to writers and translators to get a feel for how non-English-speaking readers have received Wallace’s opus.

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No Pronouns

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Using Anne Garréta’s 1986 novel, Sphinx, as a springboard, Stephanie Hayes explores the superpowers of gender-blank characters for the Atlantic. Sphinx’s recent translator, Emma Ramadan, describes how what began as an Oulipan constraint to avoid gender became a freedom from preconceived notions of male and female, and sometimes, a guessing game.

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Penkov, Miroslav  (c) Bart Michiels

The Rumpus Interview with Miroslav Penkov

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Miroslav Penkov discusses his debut novel, Stork Mountain, Balkan history, and the difficulties and rewards of being a bilingual writer. ...more

Minsoo Kang credit Mia Ulmer at Birtchtree Studio

The Rumpus Interview with Minsoo Kang

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Writer and historian Minsoo Kang talks about his new translation of The Story of Hong Gildong, a touchstone novel of Korea written in the 19th century. ...more

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The Sunday Rumpus Interview: Idra Novey

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Swati Khurana talks with novelist and translator Idra Novey about the challenges and joys of translation, the idiosyncrasies of language, the inextricable reception of women's writing and women's bodies, and much more. ...more

Fact or Fiction?

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For the Guardian, Richard Lea investigates the distinction between fiction and nonfiction writing, a distinction that exists most firmly in anglophone cultures and literature. Lea interviews several writers who work with texts in other languages, either as bilingual authors or translators, in order to find whether separating stories according to their factual content offers any benefit.

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Mary Somerville: Journalist, Scientist

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Matthew Wills revisits the life and career of Mary Somerville, a 19th century scientist, translator, and a popular science journalist. Somerville also has a notable place in linguistic history: the word scientist was first used in a review of her book, On the Connexion of the Physical Sciences, in 1834.

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Smith, Cote (c) Mick Cottin

The Rumpus Interview with Cote Smith

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Cote Smith talks about his debut novel, Hurt People, growing up in a prison town, using rejection as motivation, and brotherly love. ...more

Worldbuilding, Novelbuilding

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I have an impression that I write novels and then I publish the structure of those novels. There are missing Legos in that castle. And I like that. You must open a space for the reader.

For Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Tobias Carroll interviews Álvaro Enrigue on the ways he constructed his second novel, Sudden Death, for Spanish- and then English-speaking audiences, as well as what pieces of the real world make a story into a novel.

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The Prose and Poetry of Idra Novey

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I find the more furtively I move between genres, the more I surprise myself as a writer. Moving between genres, you carry curious things over and also carry them away. I like the gray areas between genres—prose that reads like poetry that moves like a thriller that falls over a reader like poetry—to keep mixing it up, and hopefully in the process move the genre of fiction forward in some compelling new way.

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The Translator of Great Male Novelists™

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For VICE’s Broadly, Alicia Kennedy interviews Natasha Wimmer, Spanish translator extraordinaire, on her life as a translator of Great Male Novelists™ like Roberto Bolaño, Mario Vargas Llosa, and most recently Álvaro Enrigue. They discuss what makes translation rewarding, anxiety-inducing, and powerful all at once.

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The Rumpus Interview with Garth Greenwell

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Garth Greenwell discusses his debut novel, What Belongs to You, crossing boundaries, language as defense, and the queer tradition of novel writing that blurs boundaries between fiction and essay and autobiography. ...more

Translating Kafka into Japanese

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The Berlin-based author Yoko Tawada recently remarked that one of the difficulties she faced when translating Kafka’s short story “Metamorphosis” into Japanese was that the associations Japanese people had with insects—even presumably giant beetles—were different to those of Europeans.

In the Japan Times, Damian Flanagan traces the difficulties of translating “insect literature.”

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Immortalizing History

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Literature continually reminds us that we are not alone and (to paraphrase Kundera) that things are not always as simple as they seem. With so many stories, histories, characters and figures populating a reader’s mind, it’s easy for us to take for granted the liberation that literature imparts.

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The Brilliant Translator

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Over at Guernica, Katrina Dodson interviews Ann Goldstein, Elena Ferrante’s translator, about the mysterious Italian writer, the final Neapolitan novel, and the meaning of life:

Whether you’re a writer or not, you can imagine looking at your life and thinking, “What have I done?” What she’s doing in these books is asking, “What does my life mean?” She’s using that concrete image of being a writer and having a friendship, but she’s investigating the meaning of life.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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On Tuesday, London-based journal The White Review dropped its third annual translation issue, which features a truly global range of voices from Israel to Indonesia, South Africa to Russia. Among them is a fascinating new story by Bolivian writer Liliana Colanzi, translated by Frances Riddle.

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The Saturday Rumpus Review: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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However, it’s taken me too long to say: The Force Awakens really is a fun and breathtaking movie ...more