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So man became, by way of his passage through the cave, the dreaming animal.

Hans Blumenberg


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Sunday, May 9th, 2010

The mechanics of translation and blogging

So I'm wondering something about legality or (I guess) just about what's ethical behavior. When I finish my translation of "The Prefiguration of Lalo Cura" (which is starting to look like more real of a possibility, and maybe will have a rough draft in place sometime this week?) I think I might like to post it in some form at readin -- it is too long for a blog post but maybe a linked page. I'd like to get people interested in reading this story and potentially talking about the sound of the narrator's voice and the crisp solidity of the characterizations. But I don't know how within my rights it is to do that with Bolaño's text, how far have I made it my own text in the process of translating it? (Should probably take a look at Edith Grossman's new book for guidance in this regard.) (And yes, clearly I've already posted a lot of long excerpts here, both direct quotations and my translations -- a whole story of this length and of this recent vintage seems somehow different.)

And on a similar note, a question/reflection about my blogging process. It's generally been that I will post the first or second draft of a translation as I finish it, occasionally even as unfinished fragments -- and sort of make minor revisions in place over time, and major revisions when they occur as a new post. I'm not sure how effective this is in engaging dialogue, which is sort of my dream-readin, hasn't really worked out that way so far but hope springs eternal... Possibly if I waited until I had more of a complete, revised work and posted that, more people would be interested in reading and chatting about it. And following on that, maybe a second level revision process would kick in, take this literary translation stuff to the next level. Let me know what you think, I'd appreciate it.

posted morning of May 9th, 2010: 2 responses
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Monday, July 12th, 2010

"Translate what I meant to say."

On WNYC this morning, Leonard Lopate interviewed Edith Grossman and Lawrence Senelick on the importance of translation.

(You can also read a nice interview with Grossman from a few years back, in Guernica magazine.)

posted evening of July 12th, 2010: Respond
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