Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Edith Grossman, translator of the Quijote

Hillel Italie has written an excellent article on Edith Grossman, celebrated translator of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Cervantes.

The article quotes Grossman on the inadequacy of reviews with regards to translations, in a passage which I think will really resonate with many literary translators:
'Ably translated,' compared to what? The reviewer clearly doesn't read Spanish. How would they know if it is ably translated? They quote long passages to indicate the style of the writer and never credit the translator.
Many translators will also be interested by the description of how Grossman arrived at her translation of the famous first lines of the Quijote, as well as by the analysis about the English market for literature in translation.

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