21 January 2008

Julio Cortázar and the TSPBF

My dear friend Anne McLean, a much-celebrated and much-in-demand Spanish-to-English translator, is responsible for beautiful translations of books by Javier Cercas, Tomás Eloy Martinez, and Julio Cortázar, among others. She is passionate about her work, and in love with so many of the books she spends her long hours on. Occasionally she sends me different versions of a particularly tough passage she's wrestling with, and it's been through this process that I've come to see that a serious translator is as much a writer/artist as, well, a serious writer is.

Her most recent work, the first English translation of Autonauts of the Cosmoroute, by Cortázar and Carol Dunlop, a brave, poignant, and oddball travel memoir, was recently savaged in the New York Times by a writer who didn't even bother acknowledging that there was a translator, much less mentioning Anne's name.

A brilliant blogger, Brandon Holmquest, took on the review, and you can find his astute dissection right here. The piece is called "David Kirby phones it in."

Anne just sent me a link to this piece. And in exchange, I offer her this link, a piece by Amy Lavender Harris called "Literature or Litigation?: A Threatened Lawsuit Rattles Toronto’s Small Press Community."

Over and out.


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