Articles tagged "Language"


I Am a Refugee

My apologies, Sir, That I come to you As a refugee. Accept me as a human being and not As a slave. Do not look down on me; Do not look me up and down. I am a poet; My testimonies plaster the walls,...

How \“To Algeria, with Love\” became \“La Repubblica di Wally\”

Einaudi bought the Italian rights to my novel before it had an English language publisher, editor, or even a title. Work on the translation began last summer, around the time the book was published...

Teaching in Translation: Poet as Translator

Editor's note: This essay was delivered at the panel "Teaching Translation in the Workshop," organized by Douglas Unger and with presentations by Jason Grunebaum, Becka McKay, Malena Morling,...

Celebrating International Mother Language Day

On February 2, 1952, during a peaceful demonstration to demand national status in East Pakistan for the Bengali language, four students were shot dead in the street. A postcolonial trauma that...

The Sound Words Have

Once there was a town where no two people spoke the same language. No one used the same words for anything. And yet everyone understood everyone else and they all lived together in peace and...

from “Ru”

I came into the world early in the Year of the Monkey, during the Tet Offensive, when long strings of fireworks hanging from the houses exploded in polyphony with the sound of machine guns....

from “Broken Glass Park”

I hate men. Anna says good men do exist. Nice, friendly men who cook and help clean up and who earn money. Men who want to have children and give gifts and book vacations. Who wear clean clothes,...

from Baudelaire, the Metaphysical Ostrich

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The Knowledge Holder Doesn’t Choke on Cleverness

Feridun Zaimoğlu's Koppstoff: Kanaka Sprak vom Rande der Gesellschaft (1998) presents the fictionalized voices of twenty-six women of Turkish heritage living in Germany. "Koppstoff," which...

Translation and the Teaching of Literature

In my first post, I suggested that translators' efforts in the sphere of education might have a transformative effect on the understanding and appreciation of the work of translation. In my...

Do You Suppose It’s the East Wind?

The enormous weight of three hundred and sixty-five days once again slips from my hand and falls down into the dark cavern of the past. The windows in this desolate room are wide open. How...

Translation and Proficiency Language Teaching

In a previous post, I suggested that the covers of books make for rather poor soil in which to cultivate an appreciation for translated contemporary literature among the general English-reading...

Beyond Between: Translation, Ghosts, Metaphors

What is translation? Translation is an English word. Translation is, moreover, a somewhat peculiar English word. Peculiar, I would suggest, because it eludes definition. It is impossible to define...

A Surprising Tale in the Form of an Alphabet

They say that the monks of eight or nine hundred centuries ago often had to face unenthusiastic, occasionally hostile audiences, who were most reluctant to follow the steps of a theological proof...

From “Paris–Athens”

I first wrote this text in French. I finished it on November 20, 1988. I chose French because I wanted to make sense of my relationship with this language in which I have also written other books....

From “Paris–Athens”

To my father I. Silence I don't know when I started to write this book. I know that today is the 9th, I'm looking in my datebook: Sunday, November 9th, 1986, St. Theodore's...

Abulafia

"Abulafia" is from a collection of short stories published in Poland in September 2008, entitled Cold Sea Tales. Although the eleven stories in the collection were written at different times over a...

Speaks about “Clash of Civilizations”

"Clash of Civilizations Over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio" could be called a book about translation. It's the story of people from different cultures trying to live together in one...

Brazilian Arabesques

At the very beginning of the twentieth century, at the height of the rubber boom, my paternal grandfather left Beirut for the Bolivian territory of Acre, where he worked as a peddler on the rivers...

Esterházy Per Se: A Translator’s Ball Game with a Postmodern Author

Just as there are user-friendly computers (they don't delete your latest text when you didn't mean to press the delete button, a dream!), user-friendly ovens (they ring when the roast is...

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...

Of Words and Borders

As a writer, I have come to know that writers have the misfortune of being invited to speak on things about which they know absolutely nothing. What do I know about this magic string of words:...

from “How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone”

The promise a dam must keep, what the most beautiful language in the world sounds like, and how often a heart must beat to beat shame Francesco rented a room from old Mirela and moved in...

The Silence of the Outcasts: An Interview with Dacia Maraini

(Pescasseroli, Easter 2005) To meet with Dacia Maraini and speak with her in peace means going up to the bitter and severe lands of Abruzzo where the writer, who lives in Rome, takes refuge...

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,...

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