We misunderstand each other and we pull away. Even within one language like English, words mean different things to different people, and we gravitate towards those who use this meaning-making technology as we do. Some people struggle to differentiate between systemic issues and issues of personality. The quest for
Over the past decade or so, Erín Moure has become just as well-known for her translation work as for her own writing. She has published sixteen books of poetry, a book of essays, and has translated fifteen volumes of poetry from French, Spanish, Galician, and Portuguese.
My first encounter with Seferis was through a bilingual edition of his work translated by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard. Until I read Seferis’s work, I hadn’t known Greek could be so beautiful, moving, and meaningful, even though I didn’t understand all of it at the time.
Dr. Aron Aji is a highly accomplished translator with a range of work under his belt, from Turkish writers that include Elif Shafak, Murathan Mungan, Bilge Karasu, and Latife Tekin. We chatted about his background, how Bilge Karasu subverts the stereotypical Turkish identity, and the internalization of exile.
That number is low, but looks good next to the fact that only about 3% of all the books published in the US are translations, a number that grows even smaller if you focus on literary fiction (roughly 0.7%).
Despite having read and enjoyed works in translation like Christos Ikonomou's Something Will Happen, You'll See and Burhan Sönmez's İstanbul, İstanbul, I know that the full range of works in translation this year alone is vast (580 books according to Three Percent's 2016 database).
A central theme of the novel Laurus is that time is a spiral. Events and themes recur throughout history, but each time with a slight variation. The structure of the work, by Russian author Eugene Vodolazkin, mirrors that premise. Scenes and pages reference and reshape each other constantly. Though
Sometimes it feels as if I’m not merely translating people’s stories into English, but helping people preserve their own lives, turning them into internationally comprehendible keepsakes. For every two books of pure fiction that I translate, there is a third that is not exactly a memoir, not exactly a
For days, while I revised my translation, I looked for the right words to tell the protagonist’s mother that he’s terminally ill. Even though the protagonist’s life is nothing like my own, I couldn’t help but climb inside his skin and walk around in it.
I translate something almost every day. Five or six days a week, you can find me in the process of drafting, editing, or proofreading a translation, clicking back and forth between the original and my translation, comparing and contrasting.