Archives

February, 2014

From the Translator: Tintin in the Land of Foreign Affairs

In 2006, Tom McCarthy claimed that the pages of Tintin contained the secret of literature; in 2010, Abel Lanzac and Christophe Blain declared that Tintin held the secret of making a good political speech. Invoking as it did that evergreen classic of Francophone comics, or bande dessinée, the scene…...

The City and the Writer: In Havana with Leonardo Padura

Image of The City and the Writer: In Havana with Leonardo Padura
If each city is like a game of chess, the day when I have learned the rules, I shall finally possess my empire, even if I shall never succeed in knowing all the cities it contains. —Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities Can you describe the mood of Havana as you feel/see it? I try to reflect the life…...

Name the Translator

Recently two of my Facebook friends posted links to reviews of their work that neither named nor noticed them. This would be inconceivable if my friends were authors, film or stage actors, or artists, but my friends are translators, so not being mentioned is par for the proverbial course. Add this latest…...

The Week in Translation

what: French Literature in the Making: Jérôme Ferrari where: Maison Français of NYU when: Monday, February 24, 7pm more info: http://ow.ly/tsHQ2 what: French Literature Night @ Cornelia Café where: Cornelia Street Cafe when: Monday, February 24, 6pm more info: http://ow.ly/tsI6K...

Fellowships for Chinese Poetry & Translation at The Vermont Studio Center

what: 2014 VSC/Luce Foundation Chinese Poetry & Translation Fellowships Six awards for outstanding poets living anywhere in the world whose primary language is Chinese. These awards include roundtrip travel and a discretionary stipend. Six awards for talented English-language translators working…...

The Week in Translation

what: Kafka Translated: A panel discussion on translating Kafka with Michelle Woods, Mark Harman (translator of The Castle and Amerika), Susan Bernofsky (translator of "The Metamorphosis"), and Alex Zucker (translator of contemporary Czech fiction). where: Czech…...

A Comment on “Viva Translation”

Luis Magrinyà's essay "Viva Translation," translated by Anne McLean and published in our current issue, prompted this response from translator Margaret Carson. We invite readers to join the discussion by posting in the comments. Luis Magrinyà (as translated by Anne McLean)…...

New in French: Léonora Miano’s “La Saison de l’Ombre”

Image of New in French: Léonora Miano’s “La Saison de l’Ombre”
La Saison de l’ombre is set during the height of the slave trade, in the sub-Saharan village of Mulongo. It is the moving story of the villagers’ struggle to cope with the shocking kidnapping of twelve tribe members during a mysterious fire. The novel begins as the survivors rebuild the village…...

The City and the Writer: In Amman with Deema Dabis

Image of The City and the Writer: In Amman with Deema Dabis
If each city is like a game of chess, the day when I have learned the rules, I shall finally possess my empire, even if I shall never succeed in knowing all the cities it contains. —Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities Can you describe the mood of Amman as you feel/see it? Amman has a neutral…...

A place to hang our hats (and shelve our books)

It's been one month since we moved into the very first Words without Borders office space. We’re thrilled to be sharing an office with the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP) in the historic Archive Building, located in the West Village in New York. The new office is helping us…...

Looking in the Wrong Direction: An Interview with Jordan Stump

Jordan Stump has translated many authors from the French including Marie Redonnet, Eric Chevillard, and Honoré de Balzac. His translation of The Jardin des Plantes by Claude Simon won the 2001 French-American Foundation translation prize, and he was named a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Artes…...

The Week in Translation

what: French Voices Awards Ceremony and Homage to André Shiffrin where: French Embassy, 972 Fifth Ave, New York when: February 6th, 2014 at 7 pm more info: http://ow.ly/t55vz what: The Bridge Series: Cole Swensen and Kit Schulter where: McNally Jackson Books, 52 Prince…...

January, 2014

True Stories from Faraway Places: Paweł Smoleński and Polish Literary Reportage

Paweł Smoleński’s “Painting the Occupation” is a great example of what I love about Polish literary reportage. Through the story of Suleiman Shakir, a famous Kurdish painter who was persecuted under Saddam Hussein, Smoleński addresses themes of freedom of expression,…...

The City and the Writer: In Guatemala City with David Unger

Image of The City and the Writer: In Guatemala City with David Unger
If each city is like a game of chess, the day when I have learned the rules, I shall finally possess my empire, even if I shall never succeed in knowing all the cities it contains.  —Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities Can you describe the mood of Guatemala City as you feel/see it? The mood depends…...

Translator Relay: Danuta Borchardt

What is your connection to the language(s) you translate from and/or the place(s) where the books you translate are written? I translate from the Polish, which is my native tongue. The books were written in Poland and Argentina. Can you give us an example of an "untranslateable" word or phrase, and tell…...

Asymptote’s Third Anniversary: The State of Translation

Image of Asymptote’s Third Anniversary: The State of Translation
Despite the onset of winter storm Janus, the Housing Works Bookstore Café was packed on January 21 for Asymptote’s third anniversary event, “The State of Translation.” Asymptote is an exciting international journal dedicated to literary translation, published quarterly and available…...

The Week in Translation

what: The Bridge Series: Cole Swensen and Kit Schulter where: McNally Jackson Books, 52 Prince Street when: Sunday, February 9, 7pm more info: http://ow.ly/sZzyi what: Festival Neue Literatur: Festival Neue Literatur (FNL) was established as a collaborative project of New York’s…...

Oulipian Champagne: Mucking with Caradec’s Deft Trickery

I remember watching Yvonne Rainer’s Journeys from Berlin/1971 in film class, and I recall the feeling of sitting in that dark Simon Fraser annex classroom searching for patterns that eluded me.  Hmm, in the past three shots, the traffic has been moving to the left.  Maybe THAT means something.…...

Opening New Doors on to New Worlds: Sport and Translation

Stories about feats of endurance and courage against the odds have been told since 776 BC when the ancient Olympic Games began. We all need myths and heroes: self-actualization lies at the core of their journey. Usain Bolt, Rebecca Adlington, Chris Hoy, Carl Hester, Mo Farah . . . Thanks to the star…...

The Week in Translation

what: Asymptote's 3rd Anniversary Celebration: The State of Translation, featuring Eliot Weinberger, Robyn Creswell, Idra Novey, Daniella Gitlin and Jeffrey Yang.  where: Housing Works Bookstore, 126 Crosby Street, New York, NY 10012 when: Tuesday, January 21, 7pm more info: http://ow.ly/sxAqT…...

Exploiting the Translator’s Mind Palace: Contemporary German Fiction 101

As a single parent of a teenager, I am constantly on the lookout for ways to earn extra money without doing less literary translation work, which I love and which provides about half of my income. I am also convinced that we translators are experts in our respective fields, getting closer to the literature…...

Reflections: Juan Gelman

Yesterday, just before the first full moon of the year, Argentine poet-in-exile Juan Gelman died; and last night, my head was full of extraordinary images of Juan. First, I remembered 1975, when Eduardo Galeano gave me a copy of Juan’s Obra poética “to see how it would work in…...

Preface to Life

To Mohsen Emadi There are voices that stop us that open the ground and fold our hearts into tiny squares   You tell me, Juan left us— I need your embrace   I tell you, Amiri left us— who’s the world now?   Our grief hanging on a telephone line Mexico City—Vermont…...

The Week in Translation

what: Asymptote's 3rd Anniversary Celebration: The State of Translation, featuring Eliot Weinberger, Robyn Creswell, Idra Novey, Daniella Gitlin and Jeffrey Yang.  where: Housing Works Bookstore, 126 Crosby Street, New York, NY 10012 when: Tuesday, January 21, 7pm more info: http://ow.ly/sxAqT...

Writers against Mass Surveillance: An International Grassroots Protest

One month ago today, the anti-surveillance appeal “A Stand for Democracy in the Digital Age” was launched; it has since has been signed by more than 195,000 people on Change.org. Initiated by a small group of European writers and one American translator, it began with a manifesto signed by…...

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