Tag: Translation

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 ...

Transplant Melodrama

Maylis de Kerangal’s Réparer les vivants, beautifully translated into English by Sam Taylor and published as The Heart, has been something of a publishing sensation in France, and beyond. I am ...

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 ...

The Rubble of Beirut

Lebanese author Elias Khoury’s latest novel to be translated into English, Broken Mirrors, is about identity and memory, destruction and displacement, exile and its internal ruptures. The book opens ...

Caravaggio’s Hair

Human hair, as Álvaro Enrigue points out in Sudden Death, is the only part of the human body that does not rot. It accordingly plays a starring role in the novel, which is as interested in the ...

Pakistan’s Place in World Literature

There are international novels you read and feel fairly certain will circulate among book clubs and appear on display tables at trendy bookstores in the US. Mirages of the Mind, published in 1990 in ...

Jhumpa Lahiri’s Modernist Turn

Jhumpa Lahiri’s In altre parole announces the birth of a modernist. Written in hard-won Italian and reverberating with the energy of early 20th-century literary experiment, In altre parole describes ...

Ferrante, in History

What happens when the most ambitious rethinking of the politics of realism in recent memory can’t be attached to a face? (Can they give the Nobel Prize to a pseudonym?) Now that the Neapolitan ...

Chronicle of a Soul: Roberto Saviano

“If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.” The old adage might be a fit translation of what many Italians thought when Roberto Saviano received death threats from the Camorra (the Neapolitan ...

Following the Money

“When this note passes into your possession, your luck will change, create seven in its likeness.” In late 1960s Argentina a boy of seven or eight has just bought some chocolate and discovered these ...