Let’s Talk About the Art of Translation

In Erin's Perspective by Erin L. Cox

By Erin L. Cox

For the last three weeks on The Paris Review daily, author and translator Lydia Davis has been sharing her experiences about her translation of Madame Bovary, which was released on September 23rd.  In her blog posts, she talks about the art of translation and her process of creating another version of a much-translated book already.

This week, some other translators–Wyatt Mason, Edith Grossman, and others–responded to Davis’ posts and her statement that she did not look to other translations before starting her own. 

Because Publishing Perspectives is an international publication that speaks to the translation question a lot, I wonder what publishers, readers, and other translators think about the art of translation.   What are good qualities for a translator?  When reading a book in the native language and read the translation, what is lost or gained in the space between languages?  What are the challenges in translating a living author vs. one you cannot consult on the meaning behind the story?

Tell us what you think.

About the Author

Erin L. Cox

Erin L. Cox has worked as Business Development Director for Publishing Perspectives. She is a Senior Associate at Rob Weisbach Creative Management, where she represents writers and handles publicity and advertising clients.