On April 3, 2012, translators Jay Rubin and J. Philip Gabriel—best-known as the main English translators of Haruki Murakmai's novels and short stories—discussed their work with the Japanese master of the surreal's latest book, 1Q84. The event got off to a proper start with a discussion of one of the primary questions surrounding 1Q84: how do you pronounce its title? Jay Rubin canvassed the audience for answers, which ranged from "nineteen-eighty-four" to "eye-que-eight-four" (which Rubin ruled out, since the first character is a number one). He then went on to a discussion of the role that the title plays in the novel . . .TWO VOICES: Bill Johnston on Stone Upon Stone by Wieslaw Mysliwski
In this audio, lauded translator Bill Johnston talks about his translation of Stone Upon Stone by Wieslaw Mysliwski, which received both the 2012 PEN Translation Award and the 2012 Best Translated Book Award. As Johnston mentions in the question-and-answer session at the end of this audio recording, it was a dream project for him, a book he had long wanted to translate and finally got the opportunity to do, once he found a publisher "crazy enough" to take a risk on it.For his own part, Johnston called it one of the greatest novels to come out of Europe in the past century.TWO VOICES: Novelist Sergio Chejfec
In his Two Voices presentation on May 8, lauded Argentine author Sergio Chejfec started by explaining the biographical roots of his strange, compelling novel The Planets. The book is about an Argentine who goes missing during the military dictatorship of 1976-82, and Chejfec began by explaining that the plot of the book actually has to do with a friend of his who did disappear during the military dictatorship for the 1970s. He was one of an estimated 30,000 Argentines to disappear during that span.