Articles by Adrian West

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

February 18, 2015

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… more »

Articles by Adrian West

New in Spanish: Miquel de Palol’s “The Garden of the Seven Twilights”

September 25, 2014

Miquel de Palol (Barcelona, 1953) is one of the signal voices of contemporary Catalan letters. An architect by trade, he began to publish poetry at nineteen, and averaged a book of verse per year before bringing out El jardí dels set crepuscles (The Garden of the Seven Twilights), the novel… more »

Articles by Adrian West

Na túa boca: On Translating Elvira Riveiro Tobío

July 28, 2014

Imagine a Venn diagram: one circle represents the group of people who translate from Spanish. The other stands for those married to speakers of one of Spain’s minority languages. In the center—known as a mandorla or vesica piscis, for the benefit of fancy word lovers like myself—fall… more »

Articles by Adrian West

New in Spanish: Germán Sierra’s “Standards”

April 2, 2014

Image of New in Spanish: Germán Sierra’s “Standards”
When Pálido Fuego, the publisher that has worked to bring such voices as Mark Leyner and Lars Iyers to audiences in Spain, decided to publish its first book from within that country’s borders, Germán Sierra’s fourth novel Standards was a fitting choice. Sierra is a representative… more »

Articles by Adrian West

The Espadrilles of Benuaventura Durruti:  On Translating “The Art of Flying”

February 20, 2013

Fairly early in Antonio Altarriba's The Art of Flying, the protagonist, the author’s father, deserts his post in the Nationalist Spanish army and crawls across the battle lines, where he is apprehended by a band of soldiers fighting for the Republic.  Dropping to his knees and declaring… more »