Continuing the series of ALTA preview posts (for those of you who are coming, or who wish you could be here), here’s a list of choice events from Thursday afternoon (which is only one week from now!). Also, just as a reminder, we’ll be videotaping a bunch of these events, so if you see one that intrigues you, stay tuned—you might be able to watch it online by the end of next month.
Thursday, October 4th
1:45 – 3:00 pm
History, Myth & Language in Francophone Literature
In Francophone countries, French is still often the language of literature and thus of the very literate, creating a distance from the indigenous languages of myth, folklore, and the everyday. The way, then, that a Francophone writer chooses to bend and subvert French to reflect his/her experience as a member of an ex-colony is telling. What are the ways in which the translator recognizes and respects these subversions?
Addie Leak: Moderator
David Ball: “Why Translating ‘Francophone’ Writers Means Translating French”
Marjolijn de Jager: “Freedom with French or Freedom from French”
To MFA or Not to MFA: The Translation Question
More and more universities are now offering certificates and degrees in literary translation, and many creative writing MFA programs include translation courses among their regular offerings. What is the status of translation within the creative writing program? Should it be its own track, or program? Can thinking about teaching writing in general make us better teachers of translation?
Susan Bernofsky: Moderator
Geoffrey Brock: “Translation as Creative Writing”
Becka Mara McKay: “Getting MFA Students Involved with Translation”
Russell Valentino: “As Opposed to What?”
Sidney Wade: “The Importance of Imagination in the Pedagogy of Translation”
3:30 – 4:45 pm
Literary Translation & Creative Nonfiction
This panel will consider the ways in which nonfiction writing might serve as a productive
analog for translators. To what extent do literary translation and creative nonfiction share similar “genre” concerns? Can creative nonfiction serve as a feasible alternative to commercial translation for literary translators? And to what extent can translation itself be practiced as a form of creative nonfiction writing?
Annie Janusch | Jennifer Zoble | Lina Maria Ferreira Cabeza-Vanegas
Rachael Small | Anne Posten | Janet Hendrickson
The Marketing Toolkit: How Translators Can Make Their Work Matter
A translator’s work isn’t over when the manuscript is submitted. This roundtable will offer a nuts-and-bolts approach to helping your publisher market your work, and to helping the media respond to it and to you. This roundtable is part of an ongoing series of events convened by the PEN Translation Committee as it updates its online Handbook for Literary Translators.
Minna Proctor (Moderator) | Margaret Carson | Tom Roberge |
Ira Silverberg | Matvei Yankelevich
And remember, you can download the entire schedule here.
Prose translators will likely disagree, but I believe translating poetry requires a significant level of talent, a commitment to the text, and near mania, all of which suggests that the undertaking is the greatest possible challenge. The task is to. . .
The biggest issues with books like The Subsidiary often have to do with their underpinnings—when we learn that Georges Perec wrote La Disparition without once using the letter E, we are impressed. Imagine such a task! It takes a high. . .
Following The Infatuations, Javier Marías’s latest novel seems, like those that have preceded it, an experiment to test fiction’s capacity to mesmerize with sombre-sexy atmospheres and ruminative elongated sentences stretched across windowless walls of paragraphs. Thus Bad Begins offers his. . .
Death by Water, Kenzaburo Oe’s latest novel to be translated into English, practically begs you to read it as autobiography. Like The Changeling, as well as many other works not yet released in English, Death by Water is narrated in. . .
Jocelyne Saucier’s Twenty-One Cardinals is about the type of unique, indestructible, and often tragic loyalty only found in families. For a brief but stunningly mesmerizing 169 pages, Twenty-One Cardinals invited me in to the haunting and intimate world of the. . .
We know so very little; so little that what we think to be knowledge is hardly worth reckoning with at all; instead we ought to settle for being pleasantly surprised if, on the edge of things, against all expectations, our. . .
Many of Virginie Despentes’s books revolve around the same central idea: “To be born a woman [is] the worst fate in practically every society.” But this message is nearly always packaged in easy-to-read books that fill you with the pleasure. . .
Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer’s La Superba is appropriately titled after the Italian city of Genoa, where, after escaping the pressures of fame in his own country, the semi-autobiographical narrator finds himself cataloguing the experiences of its mesmerizing inhabitants with the intention. . .
It took reading 44 pages of Intervenir/Intervene before I began to get a sense of what Dolores Dorantes and Rodrigo Flores Sánchez were up to. Recurring throughout these 44 pages—throughout the entire book—are shovels, shovel smacks to the face, lobelias—aha!. . .
As presaged by its title, contradiction is the theme of Peter Stamm’s novel, All Days Are Night. Gillian, a well-known television personality, remains unknowable to herself. And Hubert, a frustrated artist and Gillian’s lover, creates art through the process of. . .