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.
Linn Ullmann’s The Cold Song, her fifth novel, is built much like the house about which its story orbits: Mailund, a stately white mansion set in the Norwegian countryside a few hours drive from Oslo. The house, nestled into the. . .
Karel Schoeman’s Afrikaans novel, This Life, translated by Else Silke, falls into a genre maybe only noticed by the type of reader who tends toward Wittgenstein-type family resemblances. The essential resemblance is an elderly narrator, usually alone—or with one other. . .
In Joris-Karl Hyusmans’s most popular novel, À rebours (Against Nature or Against the Grain, depending on the which translated edition you’re reading), there is a famous scene where the protagonist, the decadent Jean des Esseintes, starts setting gemstones on the. . .
There are books that can only wisely be recommended to specific types of readers, where it is easy to know who the respective book won’t appeal to, and Kristiina Ehin’s Walker on Water is one these. What makes this neither. . .
Imagine the most baroque excesses of Goethe, Shakespeare, and Poe, blended together and poured into a single book: That is The Nightwatches of Bonaventura. Ophelia and Hamlet fall in love in a madhouse, suicidal young men deliver mournful and heartfelt. . .
In 1899, Maurice Ravel wrote “Pavane pour une infante défunte” (“Pavane for a Dead Princess”) for solo piano (a decade later, he published an orchestral version). The piece wasn’t written for a particular person; Ravel simply wanted to compose a. . .
Fiston Mwanza Mujila is an award-winning author, born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, who now, at 33, lives in Austria. From what I could find, much of his work is influenced by the Congo’s battle for independence and its. . .
Twenty-One Days of a Neurasthenic is not a novel in the traditional sense. Rather, it is a collection of vignettes recorded by journalist Georges Vasseur in his diary during a month spent in the Pyrenées Mountains to treat his nervous. . .
Founded in 1960 by such creative pioneers as George Perec, Raymond Queneau and Italo Calvino, the Oulipo, shorthand for Ouvroir de littérature potentielle, came about in when a group of writers and mathematicians sought constraints to find new structures and. . .
There’s little to say about a series of prose poems that willfully refuse to identify pronoun antecedents. Or perhaps there are a million things. The poems in Morse, My Deaf Friend— the chapbook by Miloš Djurdjević published by Ugly Duckling. . .