Category: Translation

January, 2016

New Fiction in Translation: “Island”

I drink with my hands and dance with my feet, Hans says, look over here, I’m right here. There’s nothing to see over there. A plastic bottle drifts along the shore and Richard says: the current is fast today. Not faster than yesterday, Hans says, you’re not going to...

New Fiction in Translation: From “Lost Words”

The following is an excerpt from Nicola Gardini's novel Lost Words, translated by Michael Moore and out January 25 from New Directions. The novel is a meditation on class and language, told through a coming of age story set inside a working-class apartment...

November, 2015

New Fiction in Translation: From “The Boys”

Image of New Fiction in Translation: From “The Boys”
The following is an excerpt from Toni Sala's short novel The Boys, translated by Mara Faye Lethem and out November 10 from Two Lines Press. The novel opens in the once-bucolic Catalonian village of Vidreres. Ravaged by a harsh recession, the town now has to come to...

October, 2015

João and Maria: An Excerpt from Susana Moreira Marques’s “Now and at the Hour of our Death”

Image of João and Maria: An Excerpt from Susana Moreira Marques’s “Now and at the Hour of our Death”
The following is an excerpt from Susana Moreira Marques's Now and at the Hour of our Death, a nonfiction work that resulted from Moreira Marques's trip with a palliative care team to Trás-os-Montes, a forgotten corner of northern Portugal, a rural area...

As It Happened: Translation at the Brooklyn Book Festival

This year's Brooklyn Book Festival feature two presentations by the PEN Translation Committee of the PEN American Center in New York. If you couldn't make it, fear not: Words without Borders was and below you'll find a round-up of these two exciting events. As It...

August, 2015

An Excerpt from \“Beauty is a Wound\”

Having cleaned his armor and made a full helmet out of a simple headpiece, and having given a name to his horse and decided on one for himself, he realized that the only thing left for him to do was to find a lady to love, for the knight errant without a lady-love was a tree without...

July, 2015

From the Translator: How to Translate a Circle

The difficulty of translating a circle is not the geometry. In an analog age, I might have written my English version on a turntable. Indeed, Simone Kornappel’s mystifying poem “as a mouse” most resembles a vinyl record: a discus that flaunts its Platonic form before...

June, 2015

Dispatch from Florence’s Festival degli Scrittori

The ninth annual Festival degli Scrittori and the Premio von Rezzori, a Florence-based literary festival that culminates in a ceremony conferring the Premio von Rezzori for best foreign literary work and best translation of a foreign work, was held from June 10 through  June 12, 2015....

Translation in Transition at Barnard College: Highlights from Day 2

The Translation in Transition conference held at Columbia University’s Barnard College in May featured nineteen panelists and three round table participants from colleges and universities across the country. Organized collectively by the Center for Translation Studies at Barnard...

December, 2014

The New Normal: On Cuba and the Power of Translation

During the historic speech on December 17, 2014, when he announced the normalization of relations with Cuba, Barack Obama turned to address the Cuban people directly. He began with a citation from José Martí: "Liberty is the right of every man to be honest." Cultural...

May, 2013

Where Are the Women in Translation?

I’ve never been good at math, or maybe I should say, I never liked math enough to be good at it, even if I did get the odd A in the subject in high school. So I don’t have a clue how to divide 3% by 26%, for example. I searched on the Internet, and found calculators that were...

September, 2010

Lydia Davis blogging on Translating Madame Bovary at The Paris Review

We're very excited about the new translation of Flaubert's Madame Bovary by Lydia Davis, whom, you may recall, also translated Proust's Swann's Way. Davis is blogging over at the (newly redesigned) Paris Review website, beginning with "Why a New Madame Bovary?" Here's...

One Poem, Two Translations: A Three-Way Conversation

When I was starting out as a translator in the late 1980s, 19 Ways of Looking at Wang Wei had caused a stir in American poetry and translation circles.  Eliot Weinberger and Octavio Paz had taken a four-line Chinese poem, over a millennium old, and presented it together with...

April, 2010

The Ears of the Hippopotamus

Astrid Lindgren is perhaps best known for Pippi Longstocking, her children’s classic, but she created many other fine characters, too, including “The Brothers Lionheart.” One of the feature characters in that adventure is a dragon named Katla, whom Lindgren named after...

February, 2010

Fear of Kubin is the End of Wisdom

Wolfgang Kubin, Bonn University Professor of Chinese Studies, is a critic in every sense of the word. Every time he speaks about Chinese literature, he makes waves among observers. He has become famous for “trashing” Chinese literature in general, Chinese novels in...

January, 2010

The Task of the MLA

At MLA in Philadelphia, the theme was translation, the community was out in force, and the Benjamin evoked was Walter, not Franklin. Here the discussion of translation focused not only on technique or publication, butalsoon teaching and training: how to incorporate foreign literature in...

May, 2008

The A to Z of Literary Translation: W, X, Y & Z

Worldwide web development and the long-tail phenomenon offer new opportunities for the visibility of literary translation. Electronic translation software is to be avoided. Postcolonial and new immigrant writing benefit from cross-frontier digital exchange. And lesser known cultures and...

February, 2008

The A to Z of Literary Translation

Whilst writing about English PEN's "Writers in Translation" committee, of which I am a member—tapping into my experiences as an editor, agent and publicist—the idea of doing a fun, but far from definitive listing, the A to Z Of Literary Translation, came to mind. oOo...

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