The Unknowable in Translation


In an Electric Literature article about the English translation of Brazilian writer João Gilberto Noll’s Quiet Creature on the Corner, Ilana Masad explores the mysteries of translated fiction:

Approaching a translated book is like drawing near a tamed animal. …  But tamed animals are at their most beautiful and vivid in the moments of wildness, where their nature takes over and one is swept away — maybe into danger, maybe merely into adventure, certainly into something mysterious.

Stephanie Bento is a writer, classical cellist, and photographer living in Washington, DC. In her writing, she is interested in exploring the musicality of sound and form, and our connection to time and place. Find out more about her creative work at, or say hello/bonjour on Twitter @saudadebelle. More from this author →