The editors at Asymptote Journal certainly couldn’t have expected Elena Ferrante to be outed when they planned their October 2016 issue, which includes Rebecca Falkoff and Stiliana Milkova’s translation of a 2015 speech given by Anita Raja. In “Translation as a Practice of Acceptance,” Raja argues that “to confront translational difficulty with inventiveness does not mean renouncing one’s devotion to the original.”...more
Posts Tagged: translation
This week (or month) in short fiction (and poetry), it’s National Translation Month! Each September, the National Translation Month (NTM) initiative, started in 2013, celebrates literary works in translation and promotes cross-cultural readership with offerings of exciting new translations on its website....more
But I think of greater importance than a sense of commonality is one of understood difference. Fiction that respects us says, “I know you because I have not had your life.”
For Lit Hub, Michael Helm writes on translation, examining Spanish-language literary fiction for moments of defamiliarization achieved through translation....more
At the Guardian, Marta Bausells interviews Idra Novey about her life as a translator, the notion of vanishing, and the freedom of speaking another language. On writing her novel, Ways to Disappear, Novey recalls:
I wanted to surprise myself and burn down the house of fiction on every page, as much as I could.
At Lit Hub, Christina Farella examines the exchange of cultural ideas that comes with translation, using Helen DeWitt’s novel The Last Samurai as an example of books enriched by engaging with other languages in the English text itself....more
The summer issue of Asymptote was published this week with a gorgeous spread of short fiction in translation from Spanish, Croatian, Persian, and more. If you’re not already familiar the journal, it publishes English translations of fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and more from across the globe (the website cites 105 countries and 84 languages so far) alongside the original text and often accompanied by audio of the author or translator reading an excerpt in the original language, making it a treasure trove for language nerds and literature lovers alike....more
It would have been almost impossible for me to resist Brazil forever. Given my love for black people and fascination with our stories, Brazil’s paramount importance in the historical trans-Atlantic slave trade and its contemporary role as a cultural and economic leader on the world stage, it was inevitable that my travels would lead me there.
Veliz Books, a new literary press based out of El Paso, has just begun work delivering contemporary literature to the borderlands. The press has already published three books by talented Latino authors, and each is translated into English, Spanish, and Portuguese....more
Twain endorsed the book, saying “Nobody can add to the absurdity of this book, nobody can imitate it successfully, nobody can hope to produce its fellow; it is perfect.”
A 19th century Portuguese-to-English phrase book, English as She Is Spoke, broke the conversational ice between two countries—as well as many funny bones....more
During anti-government protests in the Ukraine in 2013 and 2014, Oleh Shynkarenko, a journalist and blogger, found himself turning to Facebook after some of his blog posts were deleted, presumably by security forces. What he shared was a novel about about a man whose brain was controlled by the Russian government, published in 100-word snippets on the social media platfrom (where authorities had less power)....more
Simply put, there is no theory without struggle. Struggle is the condition of possibility for theory. And struggle is produced by workers themselves.
At The New Republic, Rachel Kushner introduces the newly translated 1971 Italian novel We Want Everything by Nanni Balestrini, which takes place during a period of rapid industrialization in Northern Italy during the late 60s and inspired the novel to take on an entirely new structure in fiction....more
This week at Recommended Reading, PEN America offers an excerpt from Brazilian author Noemi Jaffe’s novel Írisz: as orquídeas, which is remarkable for many reasons, one of them being that this is so far the only opportunity to read part of the Portuguese-language novel in English translation....more
For Notches, a journal on the history of sexuality, Claire Hayward collects a series of responses from historians on writing queer history. These responses address the question, methods, and terminology in translating historical queer experiences to the present day, as well as the necessity for creating a space for queer historical figures in our collective past....more
The goal is to deliver something from another language into your own language so people will read it and like it. I think sometimes it’s forgotten that you have to be a good writer in your own language.
As part of its “Multilingual Wordsmiths” series, the Los Angeles Review of Books features an interview with Ann Goldstein, translator of Elena Ferrante’s novels....more
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....more
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....more