Image of My Favorite Bookstore: Tommy Zurhellen on Paperback Exchange

My Favorite Bookstore: Tommy Zurhellen on Paperback Exchange

Paperback Exchange, Via delle Oche 4R, Florence, Italy Walking though Florence can feel like drowning. Just navigating the constant undertow of tourists that ebb and flow every day between the towering Duomo and Piazza della Repubblica can be exhausting. But next time, do this: halfway down Via Roma,… more »

International Books & Roses Day: April 26

what: Literary crawl through Brooklyn’s DUMBO community in celebration of La Diada de Sant Jordi, also known as “International Books & Roses Day” and UNESCO’s “World Book Day.” The event, which will highlight literature in translation, will take place in partnership… more »

The Week in Translation

what: "Spring into Poetry" when: April 16-29 where: various locations in NYC more info: what: Guatemalan Writers: Journeys Toward Daylight: New Narratives when: Tuesday, April 22, 7pm where: Americas Society, 680 Park Avenue, New York, NY more info:… more »

The Un-X-able Y-ness of Z-ing (Q): A List with Notes

the unbearable lightness of being the unbearable lite-ness of being the unbearable blightness of being the unbearable nice™ness of being the unbearable “like”ness of being Milan Kundera opposed using "the unbearable lightness of being" to title the English translation of his Nesnesitelná… more »
Image of Where the Sidewalk Bends: Interview with Luciana Hidalgo

Where the Sidewalk Bends: Interview with Luciana Hidalgo

It should come as no surprise that walking and yoga—one of which propels her outside, letting her feet and thoughts wander her current city, the other which forces her to slow down, turn inward, and put her “constant circulation of ideas” on hold—are of equal importance to Luciana… more »
Image of Notes on Writing and Translating in Korea Today

Notes on Writing and Translating in Korea Today

With Korea being this year’s Market Focus at the London Book Fair, there was a multitude of events exploring the publishing potential around this country, revealing a whole universe of literature to be read, and of course, translated. The “Writing and Translating in Korea Today” seminar… more »
Image of Literary Translation Centre: The Makers of World Literature at the London Book Fair

Literary Translation Centre: The Makers of World Literature at the London Book Fair

With a full program of seminars over three days, each packed with dozens of extremely enthusiastic translators, to say that the buzz was palpable at Literary Translation Centre would be an understatement. From what I hear, this has been the biggest space allocated to the LTC yet, which has been growing… more »

The Week in Translation

what: An Evening with Amanda Michalopoulou and Karen Emmerich when: Friday, April 18, 6pm-7pm where: The Book Club of California, 312 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94108 more info: what: "Spring into Poetry" when: April 16-29 where: various locations in NYC more… more »
Image of The Women in Translation: Right Here

The Women in Translation: Right Here

The Literary Translation Centre at the London Book Fair was packed Tuesday for Where Are the Women in Translation? Readers will recognize the title from Alison Anderson's May 2013 piece about the gender disparity in translated literature. Alison found a huge majority of books published… more »

Poetry at the Periphery: the Slam Poetry Scene in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil

On Sunday, March 23, I attended a sarau, somewhere between a salon and a poetry slam, hosted by Sarau da Onça and Grupo Ágape in Sussuarana. Sussuarana is a “peripheral neighborhood” (the literal translation of the Brazilian euphemism for ghetto) of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil’s… more »

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“Thank You, Gabo”: Translators on García Márquez

In response to the death of Gabriel García Márquez, some of our translators from Spanish share thoughts on their first encounters with his work. We'll hear from others in the near future.

"Gabriel García Márquez, Gregory Rabassa and Edith Grossman have been absolutely decisive in my reading life. In fact, had it not been for these three giants of world literature I might never have learned any Spanish, let alone become a translator. Colombia was the first Latin American country I ever set foot in, at the age of twenty-five, not knowing the language, drawn there in part by images in my head of steamships on the Magdalena River and intrigued by the idea of a place where someone might remember being taken to 'discover ice.' And that 'discover' for 'conocer,' which you won't find in many bilingual dictionaries, was a marvelous acierto by Rabassa and a liberating discovery for an aspiring translator many years later as I faced the original."—Anne McLean

"I think the first experience reading One Hundred Years of Solitude is one of the most unforgettable of my life. I read it in college and much of that year is lost in a haze, yet I vividly recall exactly where I was when my imagination first became hotly engaged with this novel. I was particularly enthralled by the character of Rebeca Buendía and her bones. I had begun reading Faulkner in high school thanks to a great teacher, and it was like having that experience given back again, but with a priest who levitates after drinking chocolate, sceptical ghosts and yellow butterflies, mirages reflected in a looking glass. What would have happened if Faulkner had never been translated into Spanish? What if García Márquez had not been translated into English? What a scary thought!"—Valerie Miles

"My most abiding memory of my first reading One Hundred years of Solitude in Gregory Rabassa's translation is that first sentence, where Aureliano Buendía is taken to 'discover ice'. The verb used in García Márquez's original is the more innocent, neutral 'conocer' (to know/meet for the first time). Rabassa's choice is politically and culturally charged and immediately locates the novel within a colonial setting where the discovery of what already exists often involves its renaming and expropriation. Latin American literature has, to some extent, been plagued by 'discoveries,' but I'm hopeful that we out here in our former empires are learning to know and meet new writing for the first time without the need to discover it."—Christina MacSweeney

"I first read García Márquez and Cien Años de Soledad in the late 70s as an undergraduate, in the original Editorial Sudamericana edition, which by then was in its 42nd edition. García Márquez was the first big Latin American writer for me. That novel and others—either in the original or in English translations by Gregory Rabassa or Edith Grossman—are essential to my education in literary Spanish and for that reason inseparable from my education as a literary translator."—Margaret B. Carson

"I have loved García Márquez’s writing since first reading him, and began loving him as a person when I heard that he’d said that One Hundred Years of Solitude was better in English than in Spanish. I confess I’m not 100% sure he actually said it, but that’s what I heard and, honestly, what higher praise could a translator ever hope for from the Nobel in Literature? What a generous spirit."—Lisa M. Dillman 

"My very first published translation (back in 1987) was of a short piece by GGM entitled ‘Watching the Rain in Galicia.’ Rereading it this morning, it still fills me with joy, so full is it of affection for Galicia and Galicians (his grandparents came from Galicia), so playful is its use of language. It was written in the simple, yet complex style I’d fallen in love with when I read A Hundred Years of Solitude at university, and of whose complexity I was reminded recently when I engaged in a translation duel with Frank Wynne, translating the opening page of that very book. I did about twelve drafts (and could have done more) and on each re-re-reading I stumbled upon some other knotty little problem, which had seemed initially—and subsequently—quite unproblematic. It made me keenly aware of the skill involved in writing that pellucid, seductive, storytelling style, each word laden with the pleasure of its own sound and meaning. Thank you, Gabo."—Margaret Jull Costa

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