Making the Translator Visible: Charlotte Mandell
This is a bit of an interlude post in the series. I don’t have a picture of Charlotte—she wasn’t at the ALTA conference—so I’m hardly following through on the “visible” aspect of these entries, but after writing about the “most published translators” of the past few years, it was brought to my attention that Charlotte Mandell should basically top this list.
Which is true. Over the past two years, she’s translated:
Abdelwahab Meddeb, Tombeau of Ibn Arabi and White Traverses, with an afterword by Jean-Luc Nancy. (Fordham University Press, 2009)
Jean-Luc Nancy, The Fall of Sleep. (Fordham University Press, 2009)
Jonathan Littell, The Kindly Ones. (HarperCollins, 2009)
Pierre Bayard, Sherlock Holmes Was Wrong: Reopening the Case of the Hound of the Baskervilles. (Bloomsbury, 2008)
Jean Paulhan, On Poetry and Politics (co-translated with Jennifer Bajorek and Eric Trudel). (University of Illinois Press, 2008)
Marcel Proust, The Lemoine Affair. (Melville House, 2008)
Peter Szendy, Listen: A History of Our Ears. (Fordham University Press, 2008)
Pierre Birnbaum, Geography of Hope. (Stanford University Press, 2008)
Honoré de Balzac, The Girl with the Golden Eyes. (Melville House, 2008)
Mathias Enard, Zone. (Open Letter, 2010)
Which is phenomenal, impressive, Herculean even. Just in terms of total pages, this is impressive (Zone’s a long book, but not nearly as long as The Kindly Ones), but in terms of overall quality, difficulty of the texts, etc., this is an incredible feat.
And just to explain: The reason Charlotte didn’t pop up on the list yesterday is because a number of these are works of nonfiction, which aren’t logged into our database. I wish we could track nonfiction to, but we’re only three people (and honestly, I’m the only one who enters stuff into the database), who also have to run a publishing house, write grants, sell books, teach interns, etc., etc. But one day! One day when we receive a healthy-sized grant from a progressive foundation/individual/government organization who realizes the true value of this study, we’ll be able to add on nonfiction, kids books, graphic novels . . . And go back in time so that we can better identify translation/publication trends. So if you know anyone with a little extra money . . .
Anyway, since I can’t make her visible with an ALTA pic, instead I’ll just repost this video of a conversation between Charlotte and E.J. VanLanen that took place here in Rochester a couple months ago and features a very odd moment of chair theft:
And Charlotte—keep up the amazing work!