Essays on Translation

In this section we publish short essays on the art and craft of literary translation, on translation theory, or reports from events on literary translation. Our goal is to introduce new ideas or reflect on old ones, to create a dialogue around issues in literary translation, and to keep you informed about happenings in the world of literary translation.

Neither Here and There: The Misery and Splendor of (Reverse) Translation*

by Ekaterina Petrova


Photo: Ekaterina Petrova

In Bulgarian, which I translate from, translating into a language that’s not your native tongue is colloquially known as obraten prevod, which literally means “reverse translation.” As an adjective, obraten carries the negative connotation of something abnormal or backward, something that goes against the grain, or something that simply isn’t right. 



A Materialist Approach to Translation

By Sophie Drukman-Feldstein

TowerOfBabelThe translator’s sin is that of breaching the mythology which surrounds the individual authorial voice. The literary world erases the translator in order to preserve the liberal ideal of individual genius. And yet this erasure is not a distinctive problem of translation, but rather an expression of the worker’s alienation from the product of their labor.


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