Read Why Translation Matters by Edith Grossman Online


Why Translation Matters argues for the cultural importance of translation and for a more encompassing and nuanced appreciation of the translator’s role. As the acclaimed translator Edith Grossman writes in her introduction, “My intention is to stimulate a new consideration of an area of literature that is too often ignored, misunderstood, or misrepresented.”For Grossman, tWhy Translation Matters argues for the cultural importance of translation and for a more encompassing and nuanced appreciation of the translator’s role. As the acclaimed translator Edith Grossman writes in her introduction, “My intention is to stimulate a new consideration of an area of literature that is too often ignored, misunderstood, or misrepresented.”For Grossman, translation has a transcendent importance: “Translation not only plays its important traditional role as the means that allows us access to literature originally written in one of the countless languages we cannot read, but it also represents a concrete literary presence with the crucial capacity to ease and make more meaningful our relationships to those with whom we may not have had a connection before. Translation always helps us to know, to see from a different angle, to attribute new value to what once may have been unfamiliar. As nations and as individuals, we have a critical need for that kind of understanding and insight. The alternative is unthinkable.”Throughout the four chapters of this bracing volume, Grossman’s belief in the crucial significance of the translator’s work, as well as her rare ability to explain the intellectual sphere that she inhabits as interpreter of the original text, inspires and provokes the reader to engage with translation in an entirely new way....

Title : Why Translation Matters
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ISBN : 9780300126563
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 160 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Why Translation Matters Reviews

  • Seth
    2019-02-28 00:53

    Edith Grossman, renowned Spanish-to-English literary translator, has taken on the challenge of explaining why translation matters. She scarcely mentions non-literary translation, so a better title would be: Why does literary translation matter? Another book on the subject of translation is “Is that a Fish in your Eye?” by David Bellos. He does discuss other forms of translation, such as business translation, and offers a good explication of Google Translate, which is clearly not on Ms. Grossman’s radar screen.Both books are extended essays on the art, value, and essence of translation. Both are thoughtful, philosophical, and replete with intriguing references.Both make the point that without translated literature, we would be deprived of access to world literature with all of its cultural treasures. Ms. Grossman points out that only 2-3 percent of books published in the United States and the United Kingdom are literary translations. I regard this fact as a wonderful counter-argument to those who maintain that there is no value in studying foreign languages. Essentially, monolingual Americans are cut off from the vast majority of global literary production, even if the most prodigious classics are available.Ms. Grossman explains the enormous challenge posed by the task of “bringing over” works of prose and poetry into English. She devotes a chapter to her experience translating Cervantes’ “Don Quixote” and a separate chapter to her approach to a variety of poems, which are reproduced in both Spanish and English. She offers a very persuasive case that literary translation is a highly creative endeavor worthy of more recognition. Consider this cri du coeur about the low standing of literary translators:“Putting to the side for a moment the dire state of publishing or the lamentable tendency of too many publishers to treat translators cavalierly or dismiss them as irrelevant, the fact is that it is no wonder translators are so frequently ignored. We seem to be a familiar part of the natural landscape—so customary and commonplace that we run the risk of becoming invisible.”This reminds me of a passage in Ms. Grossman’s own fine translation of “The Bad Girl” by Mario Vargas Llosa. A professional diplomatic translator/interpreter is counseling his protégé to abandon his foray into literary translation: “Your livelihood is at risk. A literary translator aspires to be a writer: that is, he’s a frustrated pencil pusher. Somebody who’ll never be resigned to disappearing into his work, as good interpreters do. Don’t renounce your status as a nonexistent gentleman, dear friend, unless you wish to end up a clochard.”This book represents Ms. Grossman’s rejoinder.

  • Steph
    2019-03-07 20:03

    I've read a couple of Grossman's translations, and was looking forward to seeing what she had to say on the art of translation. Not much, as it turns out, though we do learn a lot about her opinions of book reviewers.I especially took issue with the following sentence:"I am certainly not lamenting the fact that most reviewers do not make one-for-one lexical comparisons in order to point out whatever mistakes the translator may have made--a useless enterprise that enlightens no one since the book has already been published and errors cannot be rectified until the next printing--but I do regret very sincerely that so few of them have devised an intelligent way to review both the original and its translation within the space limitations imposed by the publication" (32).One-for-one comparisons seem like a reasonable enough way to comment on a reviewer's issues with a particular translation, given the space limitations Grossman points out. Grossman admits that she values rhythm in a poem over "exact" lexical matches, which is an approach I find problematic--and perhaps this is why this book grates on me so much. For example, in Jaime Manrique's poem "Mambo," she translates the phrase "que no se olvida" as "I remember"--but especially in poetry, where words are few and carefully chosen, not forgetting and remembering are two entirely distinct things. "Fidelity should never be confused with literalness," she writes on page 67, but this is a strange sort of fidelity.All that aside, there are some nice, warm and fuzzy one-liners floating around in her text about the importance of translation for writers, readers, society at large, and translators themselves. It's worth a skim.

  • g026r
    2019-03-19 20:46

    Why Translation Matters is divided up into several several sections: an Introduction, Why Translation Matters, Translating Cervantes, and Translating Poetry. Unfortunately, though there were interesting points in them, almost the entirety of the first two sections and most of the third could have been probably combined into one and titled "Translators Get No Respect". It seemed less a defence of translation, less an explanation of just why translation is a valuable literary function, and more an airing of grievances. (The bits that did seem to match the title, or which presented a history of translation's acceptance among writers and cultures, were interesting at least, but they often seemed buried by the rest.)When, near the end of Translating Cervantes, she finally did get around to discussing translating Don Quixote, it was certainly interesting, but by that point the majority of the book had already been taken up with complaints about reviewers and publishers.Overall, a disappointment. There is a good, easily accessible to the general public, work defending translation as art rather than just copying someone else's words, but this isn't it. On the other hand, her judicious use of quotations from other writers speaking in defence of translation have put me on the path of other, potentially better works on the subject.

  • Andreea
    2019-03-05 02:10

    This book is, to put it nicely, pretty useless. It sings praises to translators / translations but it's just so oblivious to the problems involved in translation e.g. cultural appropriation, translators acting as 'guardians' of a certain foreign culture, translators purposely mistranslating texts, especially non-Western ones, to 'clean' them up / do away with references to sex - or, on the contrary, making the texts really 'sensual' (good example for this are the various translations of Arabian Nights), it's just extremely frustrating. I'm an amateur translator (if such a thing exists?) - I love moving texts from Romanian to English and vice versa. I love it because it's an interesting creative exercise and I think it sharpens your linguistic / writing skills in many ways - but, at the same time, when I'm translating I am constantly aware of all the problems that come from moving texts from one culture to the other - translation is not just a language game, it's an act of interference with (other) cultures. Grossman ignores the grave importance of this and instead gives a load of watered down liberal humanism nonsense about how we discover the ~universality~ of ~human experience~ through translated texts.

  • Matt
    2019-03-21 21:04

    I was pretty excited about this book, thinking it would give me enough to think about without requiring me to really become a scholar of the field; I'm a big fan of the Very Short Introduction series, and also a dilettante, so I figured this'd be perfect. It also probably counts that I spent a year in a translation studies department overseas, without really understanding what was going on well enough to really form opinions and prejudices.Well, this book, for the most part, didn't help. Grossman seems pretty comfortable swathing her writing in cliche and commonplace-- translation matters because it brings people together, and shows we share a common experience, except when we don't. English speaking presses don't publish enough translations. Reviewers don't know what do to with translations. Duh, duh, and duh. None of these ideas are really interesting enough on their own, and she doesn't really go into any of them deeply enough to, I don't know, make something of the problem beyond what is obvious and could be put on a bumper sticker.The final chapter, on translating poetry, is pretty good, for taking us through her process and goals, how she tackles a translation. And likewise, the chapter on Cervantes is almost as good (though not quite). So it's not like there's nothing here, but there's an awful lot left out.

  • Max Nemtsov
    2019-03-01 22:04

    Мое глубокое убеждение — переводчик должен переводить, а не разговаривать о переводе. Бывают, конечно, исключения, но они редки — как вот эта книжка, построенная на лекциях, например, но до определенной степени. Эдит Гроссмен, выдающаяся переводчица с испанского на английский, — совершенно наш чувак, и очень многое из того, что она тут говорит, очень точно ложится на картинку переводческого и издательского дела в ръяз-пространстве (надо только заметить Штаты на Россию), — говорит с горечью и желчью, при этом, которые легко переводятся в наши реалии. Приятно иногда эдак ощущать поддержку своих инстинктов с другого берега, нащупывать мысленную опору.(И все было бы прекрасно, пока речь не заходит о поэзии. Можно сколько угодно помавать руками о тонкостях поэтического перевода, но у Гроссмен в приводимых примерах попросту нет рифмы, а переводит она сонеты XVII века, — и поневоле возникает желание отправить ее с лекторской кафедры не лениться, а исправлять недоделки. Лучше бы о поэзии она вообще не заговаривала, все ощущение портит).А в целом, хоть ничего принципиально нового она не говорит, я бы смело рекомендовал эту книжку всем коллегам по цеху. Ну чисто вдохновения ради.

  • Miriam
    2019-03-15 20:54

    Being a person who appreciates the work of translators, I really wanted to like this book. Unfortunately, I didn't. I was expecting a brilliant defense of translation as art and craft, and all this book does is say over and over, "Translation is an art! Translation is a craft! Please credit us (translators) in your book reviews!" Although the section on Golden-Age Spanish poetry, with its side-by-side comparisons of the original and translated texts, was fascinating.If you want a better argument for why translation matters, please read Richard Pevear's introduction to his & Larissa Volokhonsky's translation of [i]The Brothers Karamazov[/i]. And then read the whole book, actually.

  • Julia
    2019-03-19 03:49

    Another brilliant exposé of the cultural world of literature. Edith Grossman writes fluently and insightfully on the role of translation in disseminating seminal literatures across languages.

  • Trin
    2019-03-02 21:53

    Interesting account/defense of the art of translation. At times I both sympathized with and was annoyed by how defensive Grossman occasionally became: it’s true that most people, from highly esteemed literary critics down to myself, don’t give translation enough thought, tending to ignore it when it’s done well and mention it only to criticize. (If you go back through my reviews of translated books, I’m sure you will indeed find that where I’ve mentioned the translation/translator at all, it’s to bitch about how clunky it is.) Do translators deserve more credit for what they do? Absolutely. Is translating a book the same as writing one, so that, for example, my copy of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle should read “A Novel by Haruki Murakami and Jay Rubin”? Every instinct of mine—half readerly, half writerly—screams no no NO.And yet, as Grossman illustrates in this book—and as the aforementioned Rubin discusses in his quasi-bio, Haruki Murakami and the Music of Words—the best translators, the ones whose work is not clunky, are the ones who are not literalists, who do the most shaping and rewriting. Now, I would argue that this is still not the same as writing a novel, but it’s a skill that I would agree is in need of more recognition. (It’s also one involving a degree of license that can be easily abused—I still remember with horror a French translation of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere that I bought in Paris and struggled through back when my French was not so poor; the idiot translator had moved huge chunks of text around and added entirely new scenes. Sacrilege!) So yes, I would say that we should celebrate good translators, and put their names on the covers of books, and mention them in more than a cursory way in reviews, whenever possible. It’s either that or learn lots and lots of other languages....I wish I could do the latter, honestly, because when I start to think too much about how I’ve never really read Murakami or Marías or Tolstoy—not as they were really written, not truly—I start to feel panicky, like an existential crisis might be coming on. Um. When those instant language-learning chips become available, sign me right up.

  • Ayşe Saruhan
    2019-03-01 20:05

    Kitap çevirmek kitap yazmak kadar meşakkatli bir süreç. Kitap yazmamış ve çevirmemiş olmama rağmen bu işin zorluğunu buradan hissedebiliyorsam bizzat uygulayan için ne kadar yorucu bir süreçtir.Bu kitapta yazar kitap çevirmeye olan tutkusundan ve hassas olduğu noktalardan öyle güzel bahsetmişki ona katılmamak elde değil.Amerika ve İngiltere üzerinden örnekler verilmiş ama ben ülkemizdeki çeviri kitap okuma oranını da merak ettim doğrusu.Çeviri konusunda yazarın da savunmuş olduğu kitabın kelime kelime çevirisi yerine bağlama uygun çeviriyi mantıklı buluyorum.Güzel bir denemeydi.Her zaman yazara da çevirene de hakkını teslim etmek lazım..

  • Boyd
    2019-03-16 21:54

    The second half of this book focuses on specifics of translation and is therefore interesting. The first half, though, is a tiresome screed of the I-don't-get-no-respect variety. Yes, translators are important, and I understand why they'd be aggrieved by the lack of attention paid to the translation itself in book reviews; but what *makes* a good translation, and what sorts of details should reviewers be attending to? Grossman never says. And translators as important as the authors themselves? Pure egomania.

  • Gyoung
    2019-03-23 02:00

    Edith Grossman is my favorite translator and she gives me lots of arguments to counter my son's scholarly preference for reading literature in the original. No, I cannot learn all the languages. Translation is a beautiful thing. I do have to work on my book club; only 9% of our reading was written in a language other than English. Appalling.

  • Linda
    2019-02-26 01:56

    In this thoughtful short book, Edith Grossman, the famed translator of Cervantes and Marquez, explores historical and contemporary notions of what literary translation is and what it does. In making her argument for the importance of translation, she elegantly demolishes a pile of long-standing cliches and misunderstandings about the topic.

  • *Liz
    2019-02-26 01:02

    3,50-4,00Edebi kitap çevirilerinin neden önemli olduğunu hatırlamak isteyenlere yetecek bir kısa deneme kitabı. Grossman İspanyolcadan İngilizceye çevirileriyle meşhur ödüllü bir çevirmenmiş. Genel olarak çevirmenlerin ve çeviri kitapların nasıl gözardı edildiğini gösteren, çevirinin ne kadar ağır bir sorumluluk olabileceğini hissettiren ve yeri geldiğinde olumsuz havası artan denemeler. Yazarın Yale Üniversitesi'nde verdiği konuşmalarmış bunlar. Yaşadığı tecrübelerden yola çıkarak bazı konularda ümidini kaybetse de (İngilizce yayıncılık endüstrisinin çeviri kitap yayımlamama konusundaki inadı) bazılarında hala koruduğunu söylüyor yazar. Rönesans'ı başlatanın çeviri olduğunu ve o zamanlar bir ayrım yapılmadan saygı duyulurken şimdi belki de Romantik akımın özgünlük vurgusuyla çevirinin ikinci plana atıldığını ve daha aşağı görüldüğünü anlatıyor. İngiliz ve Amerikan İngilizcesi tartışmaları ilginçti. Grossman'ın çeviri anlayışının fazla geniş olup olmadığını ancak çevirilerini ya da o çeviriler hakkında yapılan yorumları okuyarak anlayabiliriz herhalde. Kitabın önsözünde çevirmen Ayşe Ece Türkiye'de çeviri kitapların oranının %50'yi geçtiğini yazmış. Bu oran Amerika ve İngiltere için %3 civarlarındaymış. Türkiye'de de hala çoğunlukla çevirmenin adı kitap kapağına yazılmıyor. Kitap değerlendirilirken çevirmen herkesin aklına gelmiyor, sanki kitap kendi kendine Türkçe ortaya çıkmış gibi. Bu farkındalığın artması eleştirmenlerin buna vurgu yapması ve bu tarz kitapların okunmasıyla olabilir. Grossman eleştirmenlere karşı acımasız ve sık sık çeviri kitapları eleştirmede yaptıkları eksiklikler için onları yerden yere vuruyor. Kelime kelime karşılaştırarak eleştirilmesini artık kitap basıldığı için manasız olacağını söylüyor ama çokta doğru değil. Çeviri bir kitabı eleştirirken önce akla kelime seçimi geliyor. Kitabına aldığı alıntılar özellikle anlamlıydı. Sonuç olarak çeviri edebiyatı okuyarak bizden farklı dünyaları tanırız ve bir bakıma insan tanımadığından korkacağı için korkumuzu da yenmiş ve ufkumuzu genişletmiş oluruz.Çeviri hakkında çevrilmiş bir kitap okuduktan sonra nasıl tercüme edildiği hakkında bir yorum yapmak şart oluyor. Grossman çeviriler için "akıcı" ve "mükemmel" kelimelerinin kullanılmasını yüzeysel buluyormuş. Sonuç olarakta çeviri değerlendirmek için yeterli kuramsal ve kavramsal terimlerin oluşmamış olmasının çevirilerin eleştirilmemesine bir sebep olabileceğini söylüyor. Ayşe Ece'nin tercümesi yazarın duygularını ve vurgulamak istediklerini yansıtıyor. Yazarın kızgınlığını satırlardan anlayabiliyoruz, güldürmek istediği yerleri de ("Evrenin Asıl Ülkesi", 43). Birkaç yerde dipnot da eklemiş. Güzel, "akıcı" bir tercüme olmuş ;) "... çevirinin çözülmesi güç bilmeceler ve sorunlarla dolu, ilginç ve gizemli bir uğraş olduğuna..." (15)"... çeviri metni okurken duygusal ve sanatsal açıdan bu metnin ilk okurlarının estetik deneyimlerine benzer olan ya da onunla örtüşen bir deneyim yaşamalarını umut ederler." (16) "... çevirmenler, yazar eğer İngilizce konuşabilseydi onun söyleyeceklerini dile getiren oyunculara benzerler." (19)"Çeviri sayesinde yapılan sanatsal keşifler, her dilin ve edebiyatın sağlığını ve canlılığını korumasında etkili ve önemli bir rol üstlenir." (23) "Çeviri okurken aslında okuduğumuz çevirmenin metnidir." (34) "Ülkelerinin ve dillerinin yalnızca kendilerine tanınmış kutsal bir hakla evrenin merkezinde olduğuna inanan..." (42) Lorraine Adams - "burka etkisi" (53)"Hangi uluslararası dev şirketin parçası olursa olsunlar Amerika Birleşik Devletleri'ndeki ve İngiltere'deki yayınevlerinin çeviri edebiyatı desteklemek ve yaygınlaştırmak için etik ve kültürel bir sorumluluk üstlenmesi gerekir." (56)"Sözcüğü sözcüğüne çeviri bir tuzaktan ibarettir, çünkü sözcükler tek başlarına bir anlam ifade etmezler. ... Çevirmenler bağlamları çevirirler." (65)

  • Neens Bea
    2019-02-24 23:00

    I didn't realise, when I picked this book off the shelf at Blackwell's in Oxford (sigh, as much as I love e-books, you don't remember where you were when you bought them!), that much of it was dedicated to the translation of poetry. It isn't a field I have much experience in, though I have tried it a few times. So after I first started reading the book back in August 2017, I put it aside and didn't pick it up again until February 2018, at which point I pretty much devoured it in one sitting. Unsurprisingly, a celebrated translator like Edith Grossman has a way with words. If you're remotely interested in the topic, I highly recommend this book. It is only 119 pages long, so it won't take long to read - and it is time well spent.

  • Erik
    2019-03-04 23:03

    "I went back and reread my review of Love in the Time of Cholera which, coincidentally enough, was Grossman’s translation. I breathed a sigh of relief after discovering I didn’t fall into the same condescending tone as the critics she lambasts in Why Translation Matters, but there is definitely more I could have done to address the translation. I also neglected to even mention the translator in my reviews of The Prince and Gods and Heroes; I will endeavor to remedy this in the future." -

  • Kiddo
    2019-03-14 00:05

    really enjoyed reading grossman's thoughts about the difficulties involved w translation, although it was repetitive at times. she writes logically and it's a pleasure to be led through the arguments and process. the translating poetry section was great, as was the first -- the title escapes me -- good reminder to seek out some neruda. cemented my excitement for becoming involved w literary translation in some capacity in the future (exciting!!!) (first twinge was reading about deborah smith, translator of the vegetarian by han kang)

  • Kevin
    2019-03-20 19:53

    Grossman provides a good argument for the importance of translation and an overview of some of the problems with the literary translation industry, such as how few books get translated into English and how little reviewers know about translation. I do wish she had provided a possible solution to the latter problem. (How exactly are reviewers supposed to judge or review a translation?)The last half or so is an excellent explication of how she goes about translation and of some of the problems associated with and techniques used in translating both prose and poetry. The book is worth reading for that alone (I would actually love to read a whole book where she does nothing but do this same kind of analysis). My only complaint here is that she didn't go into the same kind of in-depth analysis of translating prose that she did for poetry (she only discussed the beginning sentence of Don Quixote; I think including a longer excerpt of the book and how she went about translating that specific passage would have been extremely enlightening). I think this part of the book is especially relevant to those of us who are students of Spanish.

  • Alexander Claussen
    2019-03-13 20:53

    Excellent (if slightly repetitive) explanation of the importance of translation and translators. Originally presented as a series of lectures at Yale University.

  • Michalina
    2019-03-05 22:47

    3,5 stars

  • librarianka
    2019-02-25 01:44

    I have always known that the English speaking world is somewhat reluctant to embrace anything foreign and loves to label it as "exotic" and distance itself from literature or movies coming from other, non-English based cultures, but I was still surprised to see the statistics quoted by Edith Grossman in her book:"Our world as dedicated readers depends on the availability of translated works, classical and contemporary, yet in English-speaking nations, major commercial publishers are strangely resistant to publishing them. The sad statistics indicate that in the United States and the United Kingdom, for example, only two to three percent of books published each year are literary translations. This is not the universal nature of the translating beast: in western Europe, in countries like France or Germany, Italy or Spain, and in Latin America, the number is anywhere from twenty-five to forty percent." (p.28)Two to three percent is a sad statistic indeed. And as Grossman points out this ignorance (result of lack of curiosity and a sense of superiority) can only lead to misunderstanding, lack of compassion, labelling and antagonism that has disastrous effects. On the other hand it seems that a lot more American authors (who come from other lands either as immigrants or are born to immigrant parents) and who have great mastery of the English language, no longer hesitate to write literature that embraces those cultures and whose work makes those cultures available to English speaking readers. The works that come to mind are, for example: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007) by Dominican-American writer Junot Díaz, Azar Nafisi's 2003 book Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books, Caramelo, a 2002 novel by American author Sandra Cisneros, Cristina García's 1992 Dreaming in Cuban, and many more.As I read Edith Grossman's passionate defence of translators and translation, and yes she does not hide her dislike of critics and publishers, I especially related to those parts that emphasise the bridging role of translation and one that facilitates our personal experience through exposure to exotic landscapes, outrageous characters, incredible situations, we encounter in literature from other countries, none of which would be possible in our existence. I certainly owe a lot to literature in translation, am passionate about it, and often very grateful that I know more than one language which definitely widens my access to works of literature that often aren't available in English but I can read in translation in one of two other languages I know well enough to do that.As I pondered the sad state of affairs that Grossman refers to naming the U.S. and U.K. as the insular culprits, I thought that surely some progress has been made in bridging cultures on other fronts namely through cuisine. Isn't cuisine an expression of culture? Surely it is, and being most accessible one it has become a great link, at least in big cities around the world including United States and Great Britain. Perhaps through food and cooking we can do some of the work needed to overcome our prejudices and judgement of other, unfamiliar peoples and cultures. I wonder if somebody who has tasted a great food from some previously unknown culture would be more inclined to reach for a book from that culture?

  • Rıza Rızaoğlu
    2019-03-18 02:04

    Siz çevirmenler, şu ana kadar düşündüğümden çok daha önemli olduğunuzu öğrendim Edith Grossman sayesinde. Çevirinin, metnin birebir diğer dildeki karşılığını oluşturmak yerine, asıl metni çeviri dilinde yeniden yorumlamak olduğunu kabul ettirdi bana yazar. Bununla birlikte bir gerçeği daha kabul etmek gerekiyor. Gerçek çevirmenler de yazardır. Bir metni kendi dilinde yorumlamak, asıl metni bir oyun olarak kabul edersek, onu oynayan bir oyuncu olmak bir yetenek meselesi. Az buz bir iş değil. Yazar çevirmenlerin; çoğu eleştirmenler tarafından hakkettiği karşılığı alamadığı, sert eleştirilere maruz kaldıkları ve hatta Amerika'da ve İngiltere'de çeviri eser oranının baya bir düşük olduğu gerçeklerini yalın bir şekilde gözler önüne seriyor. Bunlar beni en çok şaşırtan noktalardı. Bütün bunların yanında, kitabın her sayfasında, çevirinin dillerin etkileşimi için vazgeçilmez bir araç olduğunu, gelişim için iki dilin birbiri ile diyalog halinde olmasını gerektiği de etkili bir biçimde vurgulanıyor. Dillerin arasındaki diyaloğun sürmesinin en iyi yolu da çeviri sanatının var olması. Edith Grossman, bu sanata ne kadar önem vermemiz gerektiğini hatırlatıyor bu kitapta.

  • Darryl
    2019-03-04 04:01

    Edith Grossman is an award winning translator of Spanish language novelists and poets such as Gabriel García Márquez, Mario Vargas Llosa, Carlos Fuentes, Jaime Manrique and Nicanor Parra, who is best known and respected for her recent translation of Don Quixote (which I read several years ago and highly recommend). This book was based on a series of lectures that she recently gave at Yale, as part of the university's "Why X Matters" series.The book is divided into four sections: an introduction, in which Grossman convincingly makes the case for the importance of translation for authors, readers, and modern societies; an insightful discussion of the life of a translator, including interactions with writers, readers and publishing companies; a description of the joys and difficulties she faced in translating Don Quixote; and the challenges of translating modern and Renaissance poetry. According to Grossman, a good translator must not simply transcribe the text word by word from one language to the other; she must understand the prose or poem as fully as possible, and rewrite the work in the second language, while maintaining its rhythm and the intent of the writer.The book includes quotes from influential writers and translators about the importance of this underappreciated craft, and ends with a list of translated books recommended by Grossman.I found Why Translation Matters to be very well written and most insightful, which gave me a much better understanding and appreciation of the art of translation, in a conversational style that was easy to digest. She skewers publishers and reviewers in the UK and US for their narrow minded attitudes and ignorance about translated literature and the process of translation, which at times seemed overly personal, but this is a minor critique of an otherwise brilliant and highly recommended work.

  • Anne Van
    2019-03-13 04:02

    This was a happy coincidence.....running into this book right after finishing Carlos Fuentes' "Destiny and Desire" that Edith Grossman translated. What stuck me about the cover was that the translater's name was given equal size and billing as the writer's! I know that Edith Grossman has some acclaim as a translator, in particular her newish translation of Cervantes' "Don Quixote". I'm still batting around some her ideas.....basically, that the translator is the "writer" of the translated work. She makes the analogy of an actor performing a Shakespeare play, a musician playing Mozart. that art is being created in its own sense. I buy some of this, that translation is not a literal word for word mechanical exercise, but still, it's the same medium. Is the translator really the writer?

  • Mark
    2019-03-21 02:06

    I read this book because I thought it would be interesting to read about translation from the woman who translates Garcia Marquez, Vargas Llosa, Fuentes and most recently Cervantes. But I was a bit surprised by how powerful it was. It seems rather elementary when you think about it, but without translation we wouldn't be able to read the classics nor any literature coming from a culture other than our own. We would be cut off from the world around us. Translators are as much artists as the writers of the original text. Their craft is not a mere tranference of meaning from a word in one language to a word in another, but a dialogue between two texts, between two languages. I was really interested in her chapter on translating Cervantes and translating poetry. Which seems to me the hardest task ever put in front of a translator.

  • Dagný
    2019-03-03 00:44

    It has been a while since I read this book and I forgot it on the "currently reading" shelf. I was disappointed in it, not because I don't agree with the polemic, most of it is obviously true although I am not in agreement that a translator is equal with the author! I had hoped for something more subtle or thought provoking, on the one hand more philosophical and on the other more nitty gritty examples. I do not read Spanish so any examples finally offered were lost on me; perhaps I have no right to complain. Issues of translation have always been of interest to me -as I have had to function in other languages than my native one- and I feel very guilty to be negative towards someone doing such important and surely wonderful job. ( Perhaps this is why it lingered on my shelf!)

  • Mary
    2019-03-21 04:07

    I was already sold on the value of translations, both of whole pieces of writing and of excerpts from foreign works that are incorporated--often highlighted--in things written in English, the only language I can really read. The news to me were the details of how U.S. and U.K. publishers limit what we get in translation. So short-sighted of them, and of the critics who also don't get it. Grossman has specialized in translations from Spanish to English, both prose and poetry.The last section of this short book spells out, with side-by-side examples, exactly how she makes her decisions in creating the English version, intent on keeping all the meaning and flavor of the original while making the translation as fluent and natural in English as it is in Spanish.

  • Andy
    2019-03-09 23:10

    Worth reading for the introduction alone, where Grossman passionately and convincingly argues for the value of literary translation, which is often undervalued, unacknowledged, and misunderstood. Particularly good on making the case that the translator is a *writer*, and must be as sensitive to all the contexts and nuances as any author or reader; and on how different language's literary traditions inform and interpenetrate each other - e.g. Renaissance Italy forms and models adopted by English poetry, Cervantes' influence on the English novel, Faulkner's influence on Marquez et al, and the feeding back from Latin American literature into English. Makes me want to go out and read the whole world's literature and re-open my mind to all its riches!

  • Yvette Neisser Moreno
    2019-03-12 01:05

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this for the 2nd time in as many years. While I found the intro a bit heavy-handed and some of the writing a bit overly academic, Grossman's comments on translation are brilliant, illuminating, and often quite entertaining. As a literary translator myself, I found her discussion of her approach to translating both "Don Quixote" and poetry very helpful--she presented some angles that I hadn't considered before.Reading this book (along with having attended a lecture by her a couple of years ago) made me a permanent Edith Grossman fan, and I now want to read everything she's translated!

  • Denali
    2019-03-10 23:00

    What a great idea for a series: Yale asks various people in the know to explain Why X Matters, where X is an area of the speaker/writers expertise. I've read a few of Grossman's translations and I'm very grateful to her for making it possible for me to read some fine Spanish language novels. Grossman has some fascinating things to say about translation, particularly her own experiences, and her essays are peppered with lots of interesting anecdotes about writers translating and reading in translation.