Two Words: The Blog of the Center for the Art of Translation

Lit&Lunch with Edith Grossman

Posted on April 20, 2009, 06:57:21 PM


One of the English language's pre-eminent translators, Edith Grossman has worked crucial with Spanish-language authors like Gabriel García Márquez, Mario Vargas Llosa, Antonio Muñoz Molina. In this Lit&Lunch audio she reads from and discusses translating Vargas Llosa's The Bad Girl, Muñoz Molina's A Manuscript of Ashes, and Don Quixote. The ever-candid Grossman also talks about her career as a translator and the industry's truths.
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On translating Don Quixote:
With Cervantes, there's 400 years of scholarship behind me. And . . . I used to have nightmares about hoards of Hispanists coming out of universities and attacking me for what I had done to this book. But there are somme wonderful, wonderful editions of Don Quixote in Spanish . . . I used the first edition, which is full of all the mistakes that Cervatnes tried to correct for the second printing. . . . [The notes to this edition] are so good and so informative and so unpedantic that they're, they're an expression of real profound scholarship.

On her assignments:
I normally don't pick what I translate. I have tried to persuade publishers over the years to publish certain authors . . . and any author I recommend is immediately forgotten. And so I've decided the best favor I can do for writers I like is never, never, never mention their name to a publisher. . . . So I'm called by the publisher or by the author's agent to do the work.

Lit&Lunch with Poet and Translator Robert Hass On Haiku and Czeslaw Milosz

Posted on April 14, 2009, 11:51:00 PM by Scott Esposito

In this Lit&Lunch event, hear Pulitzer Prize-winner and former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Hass discuss his translations of Japanese haiku and Czeslaw Milosz.

From Basho to Buson, Hass has created fresh, new translations of some of the most celebrated verse from Japan's centuries-old haiku tradition. Here he discusses his difficulties with learning Japanese, as well as the stories behind some of Japan's most intriguing poems.

Hass also discusses and reads from his translations of his close personal friend, the Nobel-winning poet Czeslaw Milosz.