The annual American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) conference, the virtual portion of which is taking place this weekend, always makes me think deeply about translation. After a roundtable today organized by Diana Thow and Jamie Richards, which left me feeling stimulated but also isolated and nostalgic for the in-person ALTA conferences of the past, I remembered a piece I wrote after, I believe, the 2018 conference, and a panel on “translation and exile” that I took part in.
So I just re-read it and created a podcast version. The issue is pertinent still, and I don’t think I would change my approach, though I will have to think more about it, as Nancy Naomi Carlson has organized a panel that I’ll be taking part in at the 2022 AWP panel on “Voices of Exile: Translating a Lost Homeland.” For that I’ll most l likely be using Miljenko Jergović as my primary example, but I will also refer to Predrag Matvejević and to Fulvio Tomizza.
There are enough lost homelands to go around.