Tag: Translation

Ferrante’s Secret Mirror

Last fall’s noisy dispute around Elena Ferrante’s biographical identity ignited a wealth of contrasting yet instructive reactions. Whether troubled or newly admiring or indifferent to the apparent ...

Last Comic Standing

Why is a good novel like a joke? Before you think too hard, relax: there’s no single punch line here. I’m simply drawing attention to what might be a fruitful comparison. Like a joke, a good novel ...

Benjamin’s Dream City

Early in The Storyteller, a collection of short pieces that includes fables and parables, diary entries and dream notes, the critic Walter Benjamin (1892–1940) writes of a young girl living and ...

Science and the Wolf

Once upon a time there was Science. Pure of heart, untainted by the kingdom’s societal structures or geopolitical context, Science was simply Science: an apolitical quest for objective truth and beauty. ...

Kafka Transformed

Franz Kafka’s Gregor Samsa has undergone numerous metamorphoses in English: into “a gigantic insect,” “a monstrous vermin,” “a monstrous cockroach,” “some sort of monstrous insect,” and “a monstrous bug” ...

The Ferrante Paradox

Reading Frantumaglia, the new collection of letters, interviews, and occasional prose from Elena Ferrante, I was struck by how often the author opened her correspondence with an apology. “I apologize ...

Breaking the ESL Student’s Imagination

The creation of vivid, readable, and faithful translations of literary works into English calls not only for considerable expertise in the original language, but also for consummate writerly skill in ...

Forgery Fiction

Even Michelangelo was guilty of forgery. As the story goes, the young artist buried a sleeping Cupid he carved from marble so that it would pass as a Greco-Roman antiquity. Upon learning of its true ...

Always Already Translated

Here are some common metaphors for thinking about translation: as a ferryman (a word that derives from the Latin transferre), as a new set of garments, and as resurrection or afterlife. These ...

Loss in Translation

Walter Benjamin’s well-known essay “The Task of the Translator” claims that “translation is a form,” an artistic act in its own right. For Benjamin, both text and translation yearn toward a mystical ...

F(r)iction in Translation

This is the latest installment of El Mirador, an ongoing series curated by Francisco Cantú. Spanish for “the lookout point,” El Mirador collects original nonfiction, translation, and visual art on ...

Sex, Violence, and “The Vegetarian”

The verdict is in. Han Kang’s The Vegetarian has not only received glowing praise from British and American literary supplements; it has become the first Korean novel to be shortlisted for a Booker ...