BBC front row on translation fiction

Last nights edition of the uk arts show Front row had a translation special find it here it on iTunes outside UK .What I was shocked about was the writers reaction to reading translation these were from O do read a few to I pick and chose and then a writer that didn’t read any as he always felt he wasn’t get the full picture . I was rather upset as these are the people that should be promoting fiction in translation .Over last four years my views on translation and its importance in reading them had grown .My admiration of translators and what they do has grown their challenge isn’t just to word for word translate the book no because as one famous translator mr Wynne who was on the show doing a translation slam observed to me he feed a novel through a translation program and what came out was useless .So there work is an art to take what was written and rewrite it as best to be understood by the English reader ok sometimes it doesn’t work but when it does boy it does .I’d missed a joycean influenced vision of Cuba which with put a translation of Joyce to Spanish wouldn’t be written , a German love affair in emails , being an African leader and his down fall ,south American recent dark past and many more events .So to mr Baddiel who said he didn’t I say look what you missed as the English novel is quite boring and predictable at moment I say VIva la translation let them free pick them up read them discover yourself !!!! As robert frost said

I took the road less travelled


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. kaggsysbookishramblings
    Aug 08, 2013 @ 18:14:57

    Couldn’t agree more Stu – so many of my favourite books are translations that I couldn’t imagine not reading them!


  2. Anne Marie
    Aug 08, 2013 @ 18:17:42

    Same here.


  3. Lynne
    Aug 08, 2013 @ 20:56:00

    I’d rather be on this less travelled road. What a shame to encounter such attitudes where they should least exist.


  4. Tony
    Aug 09, 2013 @ 03:23:03

    Hoping to listen to this later, but I keep misreading it as ‘row’ (i.e. they’re having an argument) – although perhaps that’s not too far off the truth…


  5. Lisa Hill
    Aug 10, 2013 @ 03:08:19

    Disappointing, and out of touch. Around the world keen readers are reading more translation than ever before.


  6. Vishy
    Aug 10, 2013 @ 08:33:36

    I can’t believe that someone said that he doesn’t read translations. I think translated fiction has opened new doors to readers and helped us to see perspectives. I love translations.


  7. Tony
    Aug 11, 2013 @ 05:12:51

    Just listened to it. A great programme… if you’ve never had a thought about the topic of translation in your life before.

    1) Baddiel is seriously deluded, and it was telling that the only names he produced were dead white men.
    2) Ali Smith – thank you 🙂
    3) I cannot believe that the presenter referred to the translators as ‘amateur musicians’. Would she like it if she were referred to as a part-time scribbler?

    Rant over 🙂


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August 2013


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