Tag Archives: Literary translation

Alone With Language

By David Kurnick You could tell it like a fairy tale: a malevolent father who curses his daughter with ugliness; a comely prince who, some difficult years later, lifts the curse by praising the girl’s beauty. An enchanted bracelet, invested with mysterious power by the father’s hated and feared sister, who practices the “terrible arts” […]

On Gender, Pseudonyms, and Authorship: Eloy Tizón, “The Names” and Greta Alonso, “A Shield, a Shelter, a Place to Hide,” Translated by Dorothy Potter Snyder

The essays that follow were written by Spanish writers Eloy Tizón and Greta Alonso in response to a question put to them by El Cultural: “Women writers past and present: Is publishing under a pseudonym necessary anymore, or is it just another marketing tool?” I found great beauty and insight in their responses and so […]

Foreign Bodies: Margarita García Robayo’s “Holiday Heart,” translated from Spanish by Charlotte Coombe

The uncomfortable, ailing human body is foregrounded in this thematically dense novel, a fable about problematic motherhood and the hard labor of forging epistemological change in the 21st century.

Mediterranean Crossings: Nadia Terranova’s “Farewell, Ghosts,” Translated from Italian by Ann Goldstein

A childhood home is an archive and a map. Nadia Terranova’s novel Farewell, Ghosts, in Ann Goldstein’s translation, summons the power of the house in order to dissect the relationship between self and space, memory and reality.

Anna Karenina, Recomposed: Carmen Boullosa’s “The Book of Anna,” translated from Spanish by Samantha Schnee

The Book of Anna hinges on a paradoxical fantasy: rescuing Anna Karenina from Tolstoy.

Translators on Books that Should Be Translated: Simona Baldelli’s “Evelina e le fate” (Evelina and the Fairies)

Baldelli’s inventiveness and skillful stylistic prowess are already noticeable in Evelina e le fate, with its vivid language adhering to a world of objects in which the characters come alive through a meddling of voices, each with its own substantive body

Voices Without Borders: Laura Imai Messina’s “The Phone Box at the Edge of the World,” Translated from Italian by Lucy Rand

By Claudia Dellacasa Ema are decorated votive wooden plaques left hanging up in Japanese shrines. At a distance, they all look the same. But if one is able to read what is written on them, one can take a glimpse of a fascinating number of stories, destinies, wishes, and hopes which emerge from an ostensible […]

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

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.

“Keep your day job.” Edward Lipsett reveals what it’s really like to be an independent publisher of translated literature

Edward Lipsett discusses what makes a good translation, why, as a small publisher, you should never give up the day job, and what life is like in rural Japan during a global pandemic.

On Sex and Death: Vicente Huidobro’s “Skyquake: Tremor of Heaven,” co-translated from Spanish by Ignacio Infante and Michael Leong

Composed as twin originals in Spanish and French between 1928 and 1931, this roving long prose poem witnesses the perpetual, agonized yearning of separated lovers seeking one another across eternity and infinity, where they collide—gloriously—on occasion, before scattering through the universe once again.