Author: Deborah Smith
Source: LA Review of Books
‘Literary translation can both resist and perpetuate cultural imperialism; as translators, we need to stay aware of our own biases, and of the plurality of approaches advocated by those whose biases and aims are other than ours.’
The winner of the inaugural International Man Booker in 2016, Deborah Smith discusses the politics, poetry and pitfalls of translating Korean for an Anglophone readership.
Author: Emily Wilson
‘The Loeb (again, said to be the “literal” prose version) translates στομάτων as “lips”. The word means “mouths”. It does not mean “lips”. It just doesn’t. There’s no reason I can think of to turn a mouth into lips, UNLESS you want to make sure the Sirens sound sexy.’
In this thread Emily Wilson gives a powerful illustration of how meaning can be manipulated through translation.
Author: Khairani Barokka
Source: Modern Poetry in Translation
‘Translation requires more than just broad political understandings that are transplanted from the contexts of majority English-speaking countries and supposedly applicable to all. It requires an understanding of the existence of truly hundreds of different feminisms in a country like Indonesia, and that unequal power dynamics operate in and among each.’
Khairani Barokka’s inaugural essay as Poet in Residence at MPT calls for an end to the Orientalist myth-making of a ‘national canon’ of Indonesia, and the exclusion of voices that results
Source: Pen Transmissions
This concern about putting voices out there – who are not amplified or picked up easily within the Anglophone discourse – has been a motivation behind my choice of projects.
Meena Kandasamy illustrates the importance of translation to fill a void in the English feminist and political discourse, in this interview for English Pen.
Source: The Kindling Journal
‘Translation has endless potential to generate solidarity, and to reinforce the horizontal loyalties among human beings, that run counter to the thin vertical lines projected onto the map by nation states. In political terms, translation is a free zone where the unsaid is spoken.’
Here Olivia McCannon responds to questions that span from the intersection of poetry and translation, visibility of the translator and the vital necessity of language learning.