An Unfortunate Episode in the Rhetoric of Re-translation

Or, to be clear, it would be that thing in my title, if the book had been re-translated, but this is not really a re-translation, so mostly this is about editing. Unfortunately, the editor in this case, Mark Thompson, has chosen to position his work along the lines that are often reserved for the rhetoric… Continue reading An Unfortunate Episode in the Rhetoric of Re-translation

Human Rights, Translation, PEN

Fifteen thousand words into translating Jergović’s monumental Rod (sticking with the title Kin for now), I’m taking a short break to mention the PEN Awards festivities just completed in NYC last week. I was able to attend for the first time, thanks to an invitation from my friend Esther, who knew I was going to… Continue reading Human Rights, Translation, PEN

Big New Book

I’ve just signed a contract to translate a 1000-page novel. It is due to the publisher in May of 2017, so I’ll be working steadily on it for the next couple of years. The publisher (the visionary Archipelago Books) asked for a sample, but I had not read the book, which came out in 2013,… Continue reading Big New Book

Translation and Rhetoric

And with the generous support of the National Endowment for the Humanities and Indiana University: Call for Papers Special Issue of POROI on Rhetoric and Translation Guest Editor: Russell Scott Valentino, Indiana University Rhetorical theorists since Aristotle have known that rhetoric is a temporally and spatially situated form of communication that forges (or fails to… Continue reading Translation and Rhetoric

A Fabulous Translation…

Or I should say a fabulous translation conference, which was this, last weekend. Why it was so good is, I think, a measure of the organization, skills, and experience of the sponsors at the Center for International Education at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. Lydia Liu’s presentation on Thursday night technically preceded the conference proper,… Continue reading A Fabulous Translation…

In NY later this week (for a man and a woman)

I’ll be participating in The University of Rochester’s Reading the Word series this Thursday for the launch of The Man Between. Then to NYU’s Jordan Center on Friday afternoon for a presentation drawn from The Woman in the Window. Here are the details: Event No. 1: Michael Henry Heim was one of the greatest literary… Continue reading In NY later this week (for a man and a woman)

Communication, Literature, Translation

A couple of readers of a recent post of mine objected to my claim that literature makes very little use of the common tools of interpersonal communication. I suspect this is a simple case of miscommunication, not a disagreement about principle. Interpersonal communication makes use of a wide and rich spectrum of sensations, an extensive… Continue reading Communication, Literature, Translation

Deep Translation

I’m taking a little break from responding to comments readers have been sending about recent posts in order to think a little more deeply about the activity of translation, beyond, let’s say, the most comment use of the term as a means of finding equivalents across languages and cultures. Now I’m sure someone may find… Continue reading Deep Translation

That Damned Anna Karenina Again

Erik McDonald has expressed some doubts about my take on the quickly aging Gessen review of AK, so here goes–I’m quoting from his blog XIX vek, of which he sent me a snippet. “I personally love trying to figure out what’s causing a whole group of translators to read something differently than I read it… Continue reading That Damned Anna Karenina Again

Crossing Seven Silences (in two parts): 2

“The silences” suggests a limitation where there isn’t any, a purity somewhat like the absence of mixture I am loathe to credit. And so there are taboo silences, like when your sister marries a black man, and these are closely allied with the silences of prejudice and bigotry, as when your uncle comes out from… Continue reading Crossing Seven Silences (in two parts): 2