In Translation: Translators on Their Work and What It Means

In Translation: Translators on Their Work and What It Means


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The most comprehensive collection of perspectives on translation to date, this anthology features essays by some of the world's most skillful writers and translators, including Haruki Murakami, Alice Kaplan, Peter Cole, Eliot Weinberger, Forrest Gander, Clare Cavanagh, David Bellos, and José Manuel Prieto. Discussing the process and possibilities of their art, they cast translation as a fine balance between scholarly and creative expression. The volume provides students and professionals with much-needed guidance on technique and style, while affirming for all readers the cultural, political, and aesthetic relevance of translation.

These essays focus on a diverse group of languages, including Japanese, Turkish, Arabic, and Hindi, as well as frequently encountered European languages, such as French, Spanish, Italian, German, Polish, and Russian. Contributors speak on craft, aesthetic choices, theoretical approaches, and the politics of global cultural exchange, touching on the concerns and challenges that currently affect translators working in an era of globalization. Responding to the growing popularity of translation programs, literature in translation, and the increasing need to cultivate versatile practitioners, this anthology serves as a definitive resource for those seeking a modern understanding of the craft.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780231159685
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 05/28/2013
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Esther Allen teaches at Baruch College, City University of New York. She has translated a number of books from French and Spanish, including the Penguin Classics anthology José Martí: Selected Writings. A former fellow at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, she was named a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government for her work promoting a culture of translation in English.

Susan Bernofsky is a leading translator from the German. Her translations of works by Robert Walser, Jenny Erpenbeck, Hermann Hesse, and others have been honored with the Helen and Kurt Wolff Translation Prize, the Calw Hermann Hesse Translation Prize, and fellowships from the NEA, NEH, PEN Translation Fund and Lannan Foundation. Chair of the PEN Translation Committee, she teaches in the MFA program at Columbia University and blogs about translation at

Table of Contents

Introduction: A Culture of Translation, by Esther Allen and Susan Bernofsky
Part I: The Translator in the World
1. Making Sense in Translation: Toward an Ethics of the Art, by Peter Cole
2. Anonymous Sources (On Translators and Translation), by Eliot Weinberger
3. Fictions of the Foreign: The Paradox of "Foreign-Soundingness", by David Bellos
4. Beyond, Between: Translation, Ghosts, Metaphors, by Michael Emmerich
5. Translation as Scholarship, by Catherine Porter
6. Translation: The Biography of an Artform, by Alice Kaplan
7. The Will to Translate: Four Episodes in a Local History of Global Cultural Exchange, by Esther Allen
Part II: The Translator at Work
8. The Great Leap: César and the Caesura, by Forrest Gander
9. Misreading Orhan Pamuk, by Maureen Freely
10. On Translating a Poem by Osip Mandelstam, by José Manuel Prieto, translated by Esther Allen
11. Are We the Folk in This Lok?: Translating in the Plural, by Christi A. Merrill
12. Choosing an English for Hindi, by Jason Grunebaum
13. As Translator, as Novelist: The Translator's Afterword, by Haruki Murakami, translated by Ted Goossen
14. Haruki Murakami and the Culture of Translation, by Ted Goossen
15. Translating Jacopone da Todi: Archaic Poetries and Modern Audiences, by Lawrence Venuti
16. "Ensemble discords": Translating the Music of Scève's Délie, by Richard Sieburth
17. Translation and the Art of Revision, by Susan Bernofsky
18. The Art of Losing: Polish Poetry and Translation, by Clare Cavanagh

What People are Saying About This

Russell Valentino

A very strong addition to the field of translation qua writing, as well as the more specialized field of translation studies, with its scholarly connections to language and literary study, the study of English transnational literature, literary theory, and the history of belles lettres.

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