In Translation: Translators on Their Work and What it Means

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As hard as it can be to find translations on the shelves of US bookstores, it’s even harder to find books about translation. Esther Allen and Susan Bernofsky have helped to fill that void and increase the visibility of translators with a brilliant collection of essays by literary translators from around the globe, many of them working into English.

Contributors to their 2013 anthology In Translation: Translators on Their Work and What it Means explore the process of translation and the role of the translator, but with a fluid focus that pulses between big-picture philosophical questions and the specific, real-world problems they encountered along the way.

From David Bellos’ exploration of foreign-soundingness to Haruki Murakami’s candid chapter on the more than twenty years he spent in the process of negotiating and probing and questioning that resulted in his translation of The Great Gatsby into Japanese – this is the most engaging and insightful book on the art of translation that I have ever read.

 

 

 

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