How Translators Teach Translations

Michael Henry Heim used to tell a story of how he had once introduced a bit of translation into his large survey class on Soviet Civilization in the early 1990s, commenting in passing on how a well-known book had been translated differently by two different translators. I believe it might have been Solzhenitsyn’s One Day… Continue reading How Translators Teach Translations

A New Book

Having settled into the new year, I have discovered that I’m apparently writing a new book. The realization came to me rather suddenly, but as soon as it did, I understood that I’ve been preparing to write this book for many years. I believe it is called Sea of Intimacy. I believe this is its… Continue reading A New Book

Translation and Exile

Many metaphors for translation seem to imagine it as a kind of travel, a movement with baggage across some national, cultural, linguistic, and/or geographic boundaries, usually from an imagined foreign territory to one’s own home turf. In that foreign territory—so these metaphors often go—one discovered something or was given something, and in translating that something,… Continue reading Translation and Exile

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

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)

The Man Between the Woman in the Window

One of the reasons The Woman in the Window took so long to finish is that I was always working on other things at the same time. I think all seven of the books I’ve translated came out during the time I was writing WiW, suggesting that it might be a very good thing for… Continue reading The Man Between the Woman in the Window

books

Oh, I do, I do like books. One of my favorite scenes: the narrator of Bohumil Hrabal’s Too Loud a Solitude (in Michael Henry Heim’s English translation) contemplating the prospect of being killed by the mass of literature that hangs above his bed tumbling down upon him in his sleep. This is not my fantasy!… Continue reading books