“Therefore, it is important that future policy actions should focus on enabling support structures and facilities that would allow the publishing and translation of Arabic literature within the Nordic region.”
Palestinian Short-story Collection, Syrian Graphic Novel Make ‘Record’ List of PEN Translates Awards
The Palestinian short-story collection is by Gazan writer Nayrouz Qarmout, whose “The Sea Cloak” first appeared in the Book of Gaza, ed. Atef Abu Saif. It’s being brought into English by emerging translator Perween Richards.
“The great thing about the book is that you can one minute want to shake almost any of the characters by the shoulders and then at the next sympathize. Even the central character in Goliath’s Eye chapter, is simultaneously evil, banal, and kind of understandable, in an appalling way.”
“But I do know, deep inside, that the act of translating Taha Muhammad Ali into Hebrew was, for me, a kind of prayer, for me who never prays, because prayer is a one-way message, and those who pray don’t expect to hear answers to their supplications, but they go on.”
If modern Arabic literature in English translation had a patron saint, it was Denys Johnson-Davies.
“Cairo was my final stop, where I would find what I was looking for. Cairo, where—thirty-two years after I bade him goodbye—I sit, knitting words together, weaving together the tale missing from the Thousand and One Nights.”
“Along with the translated poem(s), translators should also submit a commentary on the translation process, addressing particular challenges posed by the text or specific translation choices.”
“Arabic readers are devouring autobiographies by Chinese entrepreneurs like Robin Li, Jack Ma, Pony Ma and Ren Zhengfei.”
The “non-language-specific” mentor for prose will be the brilliant Polish-English translator Bill Johnston, with the poetry mentor TBD.
“Comma Press offered us a choice from several short stories from two forthcoming books, ‘Iraq + 100’ and ‘The Sea Cloak.’ We were then asked to translate a short extract of our choice by a deadline and, if they liked the translation, then it would be used in the final book.”
“Wright pointed out that the Arabic original was framed as a translation itself, supposedly from a notebook written in Tagalog.”
According to organizers, “this conference aims to strengthen the visibility and access to high quality literary translations in the United States and to acknowledge that translators require the same training and skills as creative writers.”