Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Found in Translation (Part II) // Esther Allen discusses her work

Back on September 1st, New Creation brought you this interview with Charlotte Mandell concerning the life and work of translation. Now comes a second part in this series of discussions with translators (this time with Esther Allen) from Artworks, the blog of The National Endowment for the Arts. Enjoy! -- Leif

Full Article Here // Excerpt Below

From Artworks

NEA: How do you balance your own creative voice with the voice of the source text when translating?

ESTHER ALLEN: Here I’ll send you back to my response to the first question: first and foremost, I have to translate work I believe in. Sometimes there is no more effective way of saying what you want to say than through a translation. One excellent example of this can be found in the life of the 19th-century Cuban revolutionary José Martí, whom I’ve translated extensively. He spent a lot of time and money translating Helen Hunt Jackson’s Ramona into Spanish, publishing it himself, and doing his best to distribute it throughout the Spanish-speaking world in the mid-1880s. He did this because he saw Ramona as a testimony to the threat that Anglo-American expansion posed to Hispanic and indigenous peoples—and since it was written by an Anglo-American, its wake-up call was far more compelling than anything he himself could have written.

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