Tag: translation

Lost in Treason: How Translators Shoot Themselves in the Foot with Their Critical Incompetence

by on Dec.28, 2010

I either protest or zone out whenever the debate at translation-related events shifts to the topic of how marginalized translation and translators are. First of all, I don’t think it’s entirely true everywhere; there seems to be a lot of hunger for good translations of poetry in the small press community, in my experience. Secondly, not all publicity is good publicity.

Tonight NPR’s All Things Considered opened a series on collaboration in the arts. Lo and behold, the first installment was about translation. My interest was piqued, but I only set myself up for disappointment. First off, the story wasn’t about collaborative translation, as I anticipated, but about translation as a sort of collaboration between an author and a translator. (Interestingly, though, the authors given as examples were long dead.)

Edith Grossman, the first interviewee and translator of Don Quixote, articulated a very straightforward and uncomplicated connection between the text and its author:
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