Jhumpa Lahiri on a Writer’s Journey into a New Language

PHOTOGRAPH BY BRIGITTE LACOMBE

PHOTOGRAPH BY BRIGITTE LACOMBE

The New Yorker ran this incredible piece by Jhumpa Lahiri on her foray into the Italian language, and how her relationship with it took place “in exile, in a state of separation.” I found this piece moving, mesmerizing, and troubling in the best way.

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Novels in Translation: A Link to 5 Choices

InfatuationsAll of the choices described in this great post from Knopf Doubleday are fantastic novels, and their translations come highly recommended. Read the piece and add a new book to your “To Read” list.

I would personally choose to begin with the Marías novel, or Balzac and The Little Chinese Seamstress (which, ironically, I have translated into Spanish).

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September 30th: International Translation Day (departe de Culturizando.com)

culturizando traductorA little over a week ago, on September 30th, the international community celebrated International Translation Day. It takes place on the feast of St. Jerome, the patron saint of translators.

There was a nice summary of the day on Culturizando.com (accessible aquí en español). Here’s the text translated into English from Spanish:

“September 30th marks the internationally recognized Translator/Interpreter Day. On this day, the death of St. Jerome of Stridon, the translator of the Bible and the patron saint of translators, is commemorated. The celebration has been promoted by the IFL (International Federation of Translators) since its creation in 1953. In 1991, the IFL pitched the idea of an officially recognized International Translation Day, to show the solidarity of the global translator community, in an effort to promote the profession in different countries (not only those where Catholicism or Christianity is practiced). This date is used to raise awareness about a profession that has become fundamental, due to globalization as well as to greater communication between cultures.”

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Washington Post Interview with García Márquez’s Translator

Garcia Marquez

Via: pinterest.com/alimajano5/gabriel-garcia-marquez/

The great Colombian writer died last week in his home in Mexico City, at age 87. I was delighted to see that the Washington Post conducted an interview with his English translator, Edith Grossman. Too often, we forget that we only have access to great innovative works because of the efforts and artistry of literary translators.

But it also makes you wonder: how aware is the general public of what makes one translation soar over or differ from another translation? I can read Spanish, so I have no clue as to how English translations of García Márquez vary. Another important question to ask is: how involved was the author in the translation process? The answer may often surprise you.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/everything-he-wrote-was-gold-an-interview-with-gabriel-garcia-marquezs-translator/2014/04/18/b52d674a-c700-11e3-bf7a-be01a9b69cf1_story.html

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Huntington Theatre Company: The Seagull, Translated

Via Huntingtontheatre.org

Via huntingtontheatre.org

As absurd as it seems to post about an event that will be taking place in three hours (and which I personally cannot attend, due to schedule conflicts), I still think it is worth mentioning that the Huntington Theatre Company is hosting an event today titled “Paul Schmidt and the Art of Translation.”

As quoted on their website:

Paul Schmidt and the Art of Translation

3/16/2014

Avenue of the Arts / BU Theatre
2pm

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the death of Paul Schmidt, translator of The Seagull, and one of the most influential critics, translators, and playwrights of his time. Mark Bennett and Margaret Sand, joint literary executors of his estate, and Catherine A. Ciepiela, Chair of Russian at Amherst College, will speak about his contribution to the field and his body of work, excerpts of which will be performed by members of The Seagull cast.

I commend the Huntington for organizing this event, as literary translators do not always receive the public attention they deserve for their impact on the dissemination and recognition of international works by new or acclaimed artists. Whether or not you can attend this talk today, I recommend you keep an eye on the Huntington for future shows and events (particularly their current run of The Seagull).

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Artículo Traducido de The Atlantic: The Frank Underwood of Venezuela

Diosdado Cabello sits behind Nicolas Maduro during a state of the nation address. (Reuters/The Atlantic

Diosdado Cabello se siente detrás de Nicolás Maduro durante un discurso a la nación. (Reuters/The Atlantic

Daniel Lansberg-Rodríguez, un miembro del Comparative Constitutions Project y un columnista semanal para el periódico venezolano El Universal, ha escrito un artículo revelador para The Atlantic sobre la lucha de poder que habita debajo de la superficie de las protestas masivas ocurriendo en el país. El articulo se puede leer aquí; comienza así:

“Meet Diosdado Cabello: Venezuela’s National Assembly chief, vice president of the ruling United Socialist Party, and ruthless pragmatist par excellence. If the makers of House of Cards are looking to expand the franchise south, they should get to know Venezuela’s Frank Underwood.

In recent weeks, Venezuela’s political crisis—mass protests in response to a flailing economy, rampant scarcities, soaring crime, and ideological polarization—has been portrayed in international media primarily as a struggle between a monolithic government and the embattled remnants of the nation’s traditional middle class. But this narrative is superficial; several storylines, both personal and social, are playing out below the surface. And these include a bitter clash between Hugo Chávez’s successor and almost-successor for the soul of his party and the future of the country.”

La mente brillante que escribe Teclado Abierto, un blog de opinión que cubre temas desde la economía hasta cine hasta sucesos actuales en Venezuela, ya ha ofrecido una traducción del articulo, que se puede leer aquí. Comienza así:

“Conozca a Diosdado Cabello: El presidente de la Asamblea Nacional de Venezuela, vicepresidente del Partido Socialista Unido, y despiadado pragmatista por excelencia. Si los productores de House of Cards están pensando expandir su franquicia hacia el sur, deberían conocer al Frank Underwood de Venezuela.

Recientemente, la crisis política de Venezuela –protestas masivas en respuesta a una economía en declive, escasez desenfrenada, elevadas tasas de criminalidad, y polarización ideológica– ha sido principalmente reseñada en la prensa internacional como una lucha entre un gobierno monolítico y el asediado remanente de la clase media tradicional. Pero esta narrativa es superficial; muchas tramas, tanto personales como sociales, están andando por detrás de lo evidente. Y estas incluyen un amargo enfrentamiento entre el sucesor de Hugo Chávez  y su casi-sucesor para el alma de su partido y para el futuro del país.”

Sea cual sea el idioma en que lees, no te pierdas de este artículo informativo e analítico que ilumina la política actual en Venezuela.

Posted in Current Events, Politics, Venezuela | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Translated Atlantic Article: The Frank Underwood of Venezuela

Diosdado Cabello sits behind Nicolas Maduro during a state of the nation address. (Reuters/The Atlantic

Diosdado Cabello sits behind Nicolas Maduro during a state of the nation address. (Reuters/The Atlantic)

Daniel Lansberg-Rodríguez, a fellow at the Comparative Constitutions Project and a weekly columnist for the Venezuelan newspaper El Universal, has written an insightful piece for The Atlantic on the power struggles going on beneath the surface of the current mass protests in Venezuela. The article can be found here; here is an excerpt:

“Meet Diosdado Cabello: Venezuela’s National Assembly chief, vice president of the ruling United Socialist Party, and ruthless pragmatist par excellence. If the makers of House of Cards are looking to expand the franchise south, they should get to know Venezuela’s Frank Underwood.

In recent weeks, Venezuela’s political crisis—mass protests in response to a flailing economy, rampant scarcities, soaring crime, and ideological polarization—has been portrayed in international media primarily as a struggle between a monolithic government and the embattled remnants of the nation’s traditional middle class. But this narrative is superficial; several storylines, both personal and social, are playing out below the surface. And these include a bitter clash between Hugo Chávez’s successor and almost-successor for the soul of his party and the future of the country.”

The brilliant mind behind Teclado Abierto, an opinion blog that covers topics varying from economics to film to current events in Venezuela, has already provided a translation of the piece, which can be found here. Here’s a sample:

“Conozca a Diosdado Cabello: El presidente de la Asamblea Nacional de Venezuela, vicepresidente del Partido Socialista Unido, y despiadado pragmatista por excelencia. Si los productores de House of Cards están pensando expandir su franquicia hacia el sur, deberían conocer al Frank Underwood de Venezuela.

Recientemente, la crisis política de Venezuela –protestas masivas en respuesta a una economía en declive, escasez desenfrenada, elevadas tasas de criminalidad, y polarización ideológica– ha sido principalmente reseñada en la prensa internacional como una lucha entre un gobierno monolítico y el asediado remanente de la clase media tradicional. Pero esta narrativa es superficial; muchas tramas, tanto personales como sociales, están andando por detrás de lo evidente. Y estas incluyen un amargo enfrentamiento entre el sucesor de Hugo Chávez  y su casi-sucesor para el alma de su partido y para el futuro del país.”

Whatever language you read in, do not miss this informative piece that sheds important analytical light on current Venezuelan politics.

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