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from the May 2020 issue

Close-Up: An Experiment in Reviewing Translation

Reviewed by Words Without Borders

How should we review works in translation?

Close-Up: An Experiment in Reviewing Translation is a new series of reviews from Words Without Borders that seeks to provide one possible response to the habitual question, "How Should We Review Translation?" The question is trickier than it might seem on its face, for it assumes that reviewers are paying any attention to the translator at all. In recent years, progress has been made in creating greater visibility for the art of translation through campaigns like #namethetranslator; still, it remains rare to see substantive engagement by critics with the act of translation itself, whether they are writing in the New York Times or in publications dedicated to international literature. In this series, critics and translators Lily Meyer and Mona Kareem seek to enact a translation-centric criticism, hoping, as they go along, to craft a new paradigm for the work of the critic of translated literature.

Lily Meyer and Mona Kareem on Their New Series “Close-Up: An Experiment in Reviewing Translation”
by Lily Meyer and Mona Kareem

Family Life is Just Another Name for Tragedy in Maria Fernanda Ampuero’s "Cockfight"
by Lily Meyer

Adania Shibli’s “Minor Detail” Caps Its Author’s Long Quest for a Language of Life Under Occupation
by Mona Kareem

Fancy a Trip through (Other People’s) Misery? Yun Ko-Eun’s “The Disaster Tourist” Has You Covered
by Lily Meyer

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