May 16, 2009

New Translation Guide Released

Some of you have requested coverage on the topic of translation, and, as a translator myself, I am happy to oblige: I just received word that the University of Illinois’ Dalkey Archive Press, in partnership with the Society of Authors, the British Council, Arts Council England, and the British Centre for Literary Translation, announced the publication of Translation in Practice: A Symposium, edited by Gill Paul.

Based on a conference held at the British Council in London in February 2008, Translation in Practice is part debate and part handbook, an attempt to establish best practices for writers, editors, translators, and anyone else involved in the business of literary translation. With a preface by Amanda Hopkinson, Director of the British Centre for Literary Translation, this volume brings together the experiences, opinions, and ideas of top editors and translators from both the U.S. and UK. Participants include:

Ros Schwartz, translator, chair of the European Council of Literary Translators’ Associations Euan Cameron, translator, former publisher and editor Hanan Al Shaykh, author Rebecca Carter, editor, Random House UK Christina Thomas, freelance editor Martin Riker, associate director, Dalkey Archive Press.


Translation in Practice is the first of a series of books Dalkey Archive Press will publish on the art of translation. It will be followed by a new edition of Suzanne Jill Levine’s The Subversive Scribe, forthcoming in October 2009. Suzanne Jill Levine has translated a number of Latin American greats into English, including Jorge Luis Borges, Adolfo Bioy Casares, Guillermo Cabrera Infante, Julio Cortazar, Jose Donoso, Carlos Fuentes, Silvina Ocampo, Alejandra Pizarnik, Julian Rios and Severo Sarduy. I plan on getting a copy Translation in Practice to evaluate its usefulness for myself and to read about the ideas it exposes on the subject. I highly recommend Levine’s book to all translators and those interested in translation. It will make you think about the art of translating in an entirely new way. If you have read either of these books, I invite you to comment and share your thoughts on them.

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