Quantcast

Posts Tagged: translation

Is There Too Much Translation?

By

Writing over at Brooklyn Quarterly, Will Evans discusses why he founded a publishing house dedicated to translation:

In addition to being a philosophical problem, literary translation is also a contentious business matter. There are thousands of good to all-time-great books published in the world every year in every language imaginable, but only a couple hundred of those ever get published in English, and that’s in a good year.

...more

Jay Gatsby Invades Poland

By

Polish language speakers are getting a new translation of The Great Gatsby, but a modern translation raises all sorts of linguistic issues. The primary difference, of course, is that the original translator wrote under the iron curtain and without the aid of Google:

It was, therefore, more difficult for her to track down various details, such as those concerning well-known financiers or popular culture starlets of the 1920s.

...more

“Kholden Kolfeeld’s” Russian Fans

By

Amid the flood of J. D. Salinger articles related to the upcoming biography and documentary about him, this New Yorker essay by Reed Johnson stands out.

It has nothing to do with the biography, actually. It’s about Russian translations of The Catcher in the Rye (or Over the Abyss in Rye as the most popular one is titled) and raises all sorts of interesting questions about how to convey American ideas about iconoclasm and conformity—not to mention slang—to Russian readers.

...more

Ox and Pigeon: A Heroic E-Publishing House for Unilingual Americans

By

The digital literary press Ox and Pigeon was created in 2010 by three friends who, on vacation in Peru, recognized the need for high-quality English translations of all the brilliant yet inaccessible foreign authors we don’t realize we’re missing.

Their current project, The Portable Museum, is a collection of stories originally written in Spanish by European and Latin American authors, released twice a year.

...more

Arrr! What do you mean by “cucumber” walls?

By

Peter Mountford writes about lending a hand to the mysterious “AlexanderIII” of Moscow, who is conducting a pirated translation of his novel.

What begins as an author’s dream of “overhearing” a discussion of his phrase-work quickly becomes something else entirely.

“Though I was impressed by AlexanderIII’s dedication, his numerous message-board queries did not inspire much confidence in his translation abilities.

...more

Selected Translations

Selected Translations by W. S. Merwin

Reviewed By

The translation of poetry requires justification. Not necessarily for conceptual reasons, but because the experience of reading translated poetry however transcendent and beautiful always feels lacking, incomplete, like living in a body missing some essential organ. Of course, this remains true of prose as well, but poetry, which depends more on the idiosyncratic musicality, imagery, and idioms of a specific language and culture, makes it near impossible to create anything even close to a “faithful” translation.

...more

David Biespiel’s Poetry Wire: Marilyn Hacker Is No Hack

By

Here’s hoping more people read the concise and precise interview about translation up on Guernica between Erica Wright and Marilyn Hacker.

When we talk about someone being a prolific translator, Marilyn Hacker — who is a fantastic poet, let’s not forget that — is the poster child: “In the past five years alone, she’s brought the work of Hedi Kaddour, Guy Goffette, Vénus Khoury-Ghata, Marie Etienne,” plus (as Hacker notes), Amina Saïd and Habib Tengour.

...more

Chris Andrews on Translation

By

“Sometimes the people who lament that global English has become a ‘grey language’ forget that the greyness predominates in certain social contexts, like business communication, and they forget that while English has been running around the world displacing other languages, it has also been appropriated in all sorts of ways.”

At BOMB Magazine, Will Heyward interviews poet and translator Chris Andrews, touching on the problems of deciphering Roberto Bolaño’s literary influences, controlling the compulsion to re-translate earlier work, and the connection between Oulipo and the Argentinean literary mad scientist César Aira.

...more

One World, Many Narratives

By

Rumpus Contributor Mark Folse reports back from the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society Words & Music Conference from Odd Words with gems like this:

“Or we can begin with the first question: why American’s don’t read more foreign literature. ‘It’s about what we are prepared for.

...more

Leopardi, to the Moon

Reviewed By

A concise and erudite presentation of and meditation on the complex and solitary figure of Leopardi, it is also an exploration of the major themes and forms of the poems in Canti—idylls, elegies, dramatic monologues, and history poems, among others—while at the same time it places Leopardi in the wider context of the nineteenth century as a classicist and philosopher and most certainly as a prolific writer.

...more

One Way Translation Matters

By

A German court recently ruled that Nazi slogans translated into a language other than German would not necessarily run afoul of that nation’s anti-Nazi laws. According to the article, the court’s argument was that “that translating the words represented a ‘fundamental change’ in the slogan, meaning its use was no longer punishable under German law.” The fact that the words were in German mattered to these judges, and taking them out of that language took them out of the context that violated the law.

...more