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Articles tagged "From The Translator"

From Nonsense to Nonsense: Translating Graphic Design

Paulina Duda’s translation of Mieczysław Szczuka and Teresa Żarnowerówna’s “Printing: On Layout” appears in the November 2016 feature of Words without Borders: “Interwar Avant-Garde Poetry.” Translating a text whose objective is to show the advantage of using one printing layout over another sounds like translating excerpts from a “Graphic Design 101” textbook. Yet Mieczysław Szczuka and Teresa...

Bedřich Václavek’s “New Art” in Uncertain Times

Meghan Forbes’s translation of Bedřich Václavek’s “New Art” appears in the November 2016 feature of Words without Borders: “Interwar Avant-Garde Poetry.” In deeply troubling times, people have turned to art, music, poetry, and prose to signal their dissent and to seek solace. We are, to be sure, seeking solace now. Just days after the election results, Poetry.org reported that more poems had been shared than in any other...

On Translating Dragan Aleksić’s Dadaist Visual Poem, “ButtsLoaDs”

Aleksandar Bošković and Jennifer Zoble’s translation of Dragan Aleksić’s “ButtsLoaDs” appears in the November 2016 feature of Words without Borders: Interwar Avant-Garde Poetry. Ian McLellan Davis designed the visual layout of their translation.   “The periodical [Dada] Tank, published in 1922,” writes Hans Richter in his Dada: Art and Anti-Art, “had a powerful effect despite the shortness of its life. This...

Translating by Ear: Creating Voice & Language in Boris Sandler’s “Nomansland, AZ”

Sebastian Schulman’s translation of an excerpt of Boris Sandler’s Nomansland, AZ appeared in the September 2016 feature: Contemporary Yiddish Literature on Three Continents. As a literary translator, I am all ears. By this, I mean that in order to translate a text I need to hear it aloud and get the sounds and voices of the narrator, the protagonist, and all the characters buzzing around in my head before I can put their words down on paper. This means that I can often be heard...

Eva Taylor’s “Tattoos”—The Atlas of the “I”

Olivia E. Sears’s translations of three poems from Eva Taylor’s “Tattoos” series appeared in the September 2016 issue: There Is No Map: The New Italian(s). I have two mouths from one I speak from the other I bleed.                                    —from “Prima igiene, 22”...

Translating Tahar Lamri’s “Cous Cous Klan”

Robert Elliot’s translation of Tahar Lamri’s “Cous Cous Klan” appears in the September 2016 issue: There Is No Map: The New Italian(s). I have listened to Tahar Lamri speak many times, in all sorts of places—from packed theaters to a rooftop terrace in Ferrara at two o’clock in the morning—and the remarkable thing about his voice is its quiet, even tone. Even when talking to hundreds of teenage school students in a crowded, echoey hall, he raises...

The Many Voices of Lina Prosa’s “Lampedusa Snow”

Image: The Italian Alps, photographed by Andrew Raimondi, 2015. Wikimedia Commons. Allison Grimaldi-Donahue and Nerina Cocchi’s translation of Lina Prosa’s “Lampedusa Snow” appears in the September 2016 issue of Words without Borders: There Is No Map—The New Italian(s). Translation is a dialogue, a conversation. For a while I believed the conversation was between me, the translator, and the author. Then I realized it was a polyphonic chorus of...

The Thoughtful Traveler: On Giampiero Neri’s Poetry

Image: Lake Annone in Lombardy, Italy, near to where Giampiero Neri grew up. Wikimedia Commons. Martha Cooley and Antonio Romani’s translations of Giampiero Neri’s prose-poems appear in the August 2016 issue: There Is No Map: The New Italian(s). Martha and Antonio will speak about their translations at Words Without Borders’s September 20 event in New York City. Giampiero Neri’s Poesie 1960-2005 (Poems 1960-2005) is a container into...

An Interview with Shih Chiung-Yu

Darryl Sterk’s translation of Shih Chiung-Yu’s “Wedding in Autumn” appears in the August 2016 issue of Words without Borders: “Turning Points: Women Writers from Taiwan.” Darryl Sterk (DS): Why tell the story from the naive young man’s perspective? Shih Chiung-Yu (SC): To create several kinds of contrasts—between the narrator and the women in the story (especially Ah Ju and the narrator’s sister) and between the naive...

From the Translator: On “Beauty, a Terrible Story”

Image: From the cover of the Brazilian edition of The Dragons Haven’t Been to Paradise, published by Companhia das Letras.  Bruna Dantas Lobato’s translation of Caio Fernando Abreu’s “Beauty, a Terrible Story” appears in the July 2016 issue of Words without Borders: “Brazil Beyond Rio.” Caio Fernando Abreu’s “Beauty, a Terrible Story” was first published in 1989 in The Dragons Haven’t Been to Paradise, a...

From the Translator: Schernikau’s Quiet Radicalism

Image: From the cover of Ronald M. Schernikau’s Kleinstadtnovelle (Small-town Novella). Lucy Renner Jones’s translation of Ronald M. Schernikau’s “Small-town Novella”​ appears in the June 2016 issue of Words without Borders: “The Queer Issue VII.” It all started with a photograph of a longhaired man with a beard wearing eyeliner. He gazes with an enigmatic smile into the camera and his fingernails look as if they are lacquered...

From the Translator: A Lunar Sorority

Image: Phases of the Moon. (CC0 Public Domain.) Anton Hur’s translation of Jeon Sam-hye’s “Genesis” appears in the June 2016 issue of Words without Borders: “The Queer Issue VII.” Insofar as a translator can be “well-known,” I am not the most well-known gay translator of Korean literature. I am not even the second most well-known, or the third. In fact, one of my sisters-at-arms, Jamie Chang, already contributed a “From the...

From the Translator: On Translating Yoss and Anabel Enríquez Piñeiro

Image: Wikimedia Commons. Hillary Gulley’s translation of Yoss’s “Interstellar Biochocolate Mousse á la solitaire . . . For Two” and Anabel Enríquez Piñeiro’s “Nothing to Declare” appear in the May 2016 issue of Words without Borders: “On Cuban Time: New Writing from the Island,” which she guest-edited with Esther Allen. Join WWB this Wednesday, March 25 at the...

From the Translator: Fictions of the Cuban Diamond

Image: Cuba vs. Puerto Rico at the 1986 Baseball World Cup. Wikimedia Commons. Dick Cluster’s translation of Eduardo del Llano’s “Swimming Upstream” appears in the May 2016 issue of Words without Borders: On Cuban Time: New Writing from the Island. Eduardo del Llano’s “Swimming Upstream” inhabits a space where the flying feet of speculative fiction cross the cultural touchstone of home plate. Interestingly, while...

From the Translator: The Zone (On “Crow, Wheels”)

Image: Collage by Ukrainian artist Grycja, grycja.tumblr.com  Oksana Maksymchuk and Max Rosochinsky’s translation of Ukrainian poet Lyuba Yakimchuk’s “Crow, Wheels” appears in the April 2016 issue of Words without Borders: Women Write War. In Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1979 film Stalker, the characters are depicted as trying to navigate a protected territory they call “The Zone.” Initially, the Zone seems to describe an ordinary countryside,...

From the Translator: On “A Red Lighter in the Heart of M.”

Collusion in French Watermelon Sugar. Collaboration through a Common Denominator. Abbaye Sainte-Marie de Lagrasse, a Benedictine abbey rebuilt in the late eight century, and the location of the translation residency where Chris Clarke met Mohammed El Khadiri, whose story A Red Lighter in the Heart of M. Chris translated for the March 2016 Words without Borders issue on Moroccan literature. (Photo: Chris Clarke) In the summer of 2012, I attended a weeklong...

From the Translator: On “They Told You”

Olivia Baes's translation of Khadija Arouhal's They Told You appears in the March 2016 Words without Borders issue on Moroccan literature. When Emma Ramadan asked me to translate Khadija Arouhal’s poem “They Told You,” I was honored and excited. I was also a little bit hesitant when I found out that Arouhal, a young Moroccan woman, writes in Tamazight, a language I was unfamiliar with. I already find translating poetry daunting—what with...

From the Translator: On “Photogrammes”

Emma Ramadan guest-edited the March 2016 Words without Borders issue on Moroccan literature. The issue included her translations of poems from Ahmed Bouanani’s collection, Photogrammes, which she completed while on a Fulbright grant in Morocco. Immediately following Moroccan independence, it became obvious to many artists and intellectuals that the battle for a liberated Morocco had only just begun. The generation that had seen its national culture wiped...

From the Translator: Alessandro Spina’s Libyan Epic

Benghazi,sometime in 1979. Muammar Qaddafi begins tightening his grip on Libyan society: on the one hand, redistributing land and expropriating slum lords—largely benefitting average Libyans—while on the other, executing dissidents and creating a brutal police state. He also starts to target “foreign” entrepreneurs, among them a certain Basili Khuzam. In his early fifties, Khuzam spends most of his days running his father's textile factory, which is situated next...

Fact, Act, Phenomenon: On Translating \“Un fatto umano\”

When I first picked up Manfredi Giffone’s Un fatto umano, excerpted in Words without Borders as A Human Act, I expected nothing more than a violent diversion similar to the Godfather or Scarface. In fact, the book approaches the mafia from the opposite end, focusing on the corrosive effects wrought by organized crime on all aspects of civic culture, plumbing the nature of heroism under despotism and demonstrating, through the brutal rise of Totò Riina’s Corleonese mafia...

Just Be: On Jessica Schiefauer’s “The Boys”

As a pre-teen in Southern California, I was terrified of the day I would have to wear a bra. As soon as you wore one, the boys would stalk you around school, sneak up behind you, and painfully snap the hook and eye closure against your back. It was a humiliating hazing ritual of sorts, with one foot in the innocence of childish play, and the other in the common attitudes about gender in the adult world, where women are often portrayed or treated as objects. And then there was the garment...

From the Translator: One-handed Translation

When presumably innocent Susan Harris and Samantha Schnee were in touch about translating a story by Israel Centeno titled “Romanza Pornomilitar,” selected by editor Ana Nuño for the special Venezuelan issue, the answer, honestly, was a no-brainer. I was “encantada” (a word I once used as a pleasantry with Portuguese writer Lobo Antunes, who responded; “if you are truly “encantada,” you’d be kneeling before me kissing my feet.” I...

From the Translators: On \“Regeneration\”

In “Regeneration,” it’s said that Juan, the chief protagonist, “feared the loneliness of his apartment more than he did the tedium of the bar.” Like most writers, we translators revel in the loneliness of our apartments: we choose to work alone, in a darkened room, with no one to talk to or interact with. We like to develop our ideas in the comfort of our solitude, where our hopeless first attempts go unseen and our naïve blunders go unshared. We like to...

From the Translator: On Flowers and Maps

Mark Twain once joked that God created war so Americans could learn geography. Luckily for us, humanity countered with a solution of its own: translation. I believe most Americans, upon hearing the word “Moldova,” tend to think of a particularly nasty type of fungus that grows in the interspaces between toes, rather than a sovereign European nation. But a nation it is, and prominent among its thinkers and writers is Vladimir Lorchenkov, who writes in Russian and whose novel The...

On Bugs and Buttons: Translating “Ladybirds’ Requiem”

It's not just the dearth of young girls in sailor uniforms with big eyes, tiny noses, and hair so long as to render actual movement nearly impossible that separates Akino Kondoh's work from that of most Japanese manga. Trained as a fine artist, Kondoh moves from manga to animation to painting to sculpture, and these different practices come back to inform her manga, most obviously seen in the movement that fills the pages of her comics. She is one of few manga artists in Japan who...

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