Always Translating (and Some Interesting Links)

SEPTEMBER 26, 2022: Here’s a set of links to translation-related essays, interviews, podcasts, virtual events, submission calls, and more to start the working week.

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Dear Reader,

Hilary Mantel, one of my all-time favorite writers, passed away this past week. I teach from her works in my six-week Historical Fiction workshop. To me, her Wolf Hall trilogy, which won her two Bookers, is her finest. Among the many intricate subplots, she explores the ever-thorny issue of translations of religious texts. William Tyndale—one of the English translators of the Bible and a leading figure in the Protestant Reformation in England—was declared a heretic for his work and executed by the authorities of the Roman Empire. After England’s break with Rome, Cromwell—the protagonist of Mantel’s trilogy—guided the publication of the first English translation of the entire Bible, called the “Matthew Bible” or the “Great Bible,” and arranged for one to be displayed in every church. In the final novel, The Mirror and the Light, Mantel’s Cromwell recalls how Thomas More—a powerful and devout Catholic who refused to accept Henry VIII as the head of the Church of England and was beheaded for it—apparently used to say that “all translators crave something from their text, and if they do not find it, they will put it there.” One more interesting point to note: Tyndale, through his English translations of the Bible and other texts, introduced new words and phrases to the English language.

One of our finest writers is gone too soon. May she rest in power. This week’s quote below is to honor her.

READ: Second Language by Yiyun Li; a review of Alindarka’s Children: Things Will Be Bad by Alhierd Bacharevič, translated by Petra Reid and Jim Dingley (Jewish Currents)

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READ: Breaking into English by Lily Meyer (Los Angeles Review of Books)

READ: 12 Global Children’s Books for History Lovers by Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp (Words Without Borders)

READ: The Ghazal in Context by Dr. Salman Sarwat; a review of Hazaaron Khwahishein Aisi: The Wonderful World of Urdu Ghazals, Selected, Edited, and Translated by Anisur Rahman (Dawn.com)

READ: Poetics Of The “Inappropriate”: Writing After Catastrophe, Writing After Silence by Elijah Knodell (Bwog, Columbia Student News)

READ: Getting their due by Mini Kapoor (The Hindu; paywalled)

READ: Scheme launched to translate literary works to boost understanding between Cypriot communities by Sarah Ktisti (Cyprus Mail)

LISTEN: Speaking Gujarati: an audio conversation between Jenny Bhatt and Elle Charisse (Speaking Tongues Pod)

WATCH: On literary translation: an Instagram Live video conversation between Jenny Bhatt and Elle Charisse (Speaking Tongues Pod)

ATTEND: In Conversation with International Booker Winner Daisy Rockwell; Thu, 29 Sep 2022, 5:00 PM Central (University of Chicago; there might be a Zoom link)

ATTEND: International Translation Day: Challenges of Poetry Translation; Fri, 30 Sep 2022, 18:00 BST (The Instituto Cervantes in Manchester, in collaboration with Manchester City of Literature; virtual)

ATTEND: Translating Graphic Realities with Jamie Richards; Fri, 30 Sep 2022, 12:30PM – 1:30PM Eastern (PIIRS, Princeton University; virtual)

APPLY: Literary Translator in Residence 2022-2023 at University College Cork (English/Irish – German)

SUBMIT: Call for translations of Korean fiction, literary nonfiction, and poetry (Asymptote Journal)

SUBMIT: Oxford Anthology of Translation No. 2 Call for Submissions


Please feel free to share these links (I’d appreciate it if you could credit this newsletter as the source.) And if you’ve got an upcoming essay, interview, or event you’d like me to include, you can send it via my contact page. I’ll try to include as many as I can.

Thanks for reading. This newsletter is a free publication. The best way to show appreciation is to buy/review my books, hire me for literary events, or share this newsletter with others who might enjoy it.

Until next week.

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Jenny Bhatt

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