Welcome to Hopscotch Translation

In the Names of the Fathers: Review of Fathers Never Go Away

by Samuel E. Martin

The sense of what could have been runs palpably through Fathers Never Go Away, the beautiful anthology of short commemorative prose pieces compiled by Nevena Dishlieva-Krysteva and translated from Bulgarian to English by Ekaterina Petrova, though not because there is the slightest cause to regret the translator’s linguistic choices. Rather, the book’s contributors yearn for what has been irrevocably taken from them: the company of their fathers… READ MORE

An Invitation by Captivation: A review of Tilsa Otta’s And Suddenly I Was Just Dancing

by Greg Bem

Otta’s challenges are exquisitely rooted in the personal and the brief, but their range and intention feel big, inclusive, holistic. The poet provides broad strokes that are fleeting and resonant, blurred images that cascade across time and space, lingering like warmth, or like echoes that urge sense through awareness of resonance. Otta’s instructional, if not choral, approach to poetry… READ MORE

On the Point of Becoming: A Conversation on Co-translating Marguerite Duras

by Emma Ramadan and Olivia Baes, with art by Olivia Baes

Duras’s writing about the sea in this book is so different from her later work. She is famous for her descriptions of the sea but here something interesting is happening. Francine is drawn to the sea for how it might reflect her inner being. In later books I feel Duras’s narrators learn from the sea, but do not try to capture its infinite vastness within them… READ MORE

Translation as Instrument of Empire

by Joshua M. Price

In the signal year of 1492, noted linguist and grammarian Antonio de Nebrija presented the first Spanish (Castilian) grammar book to Queen Isabel. The Queen reportedly asked what use the book could possibly be to her, since she already spoke Spanish. “Your Most Enlightened Majesty,” he wrote, “language has always been a companion of empire.” Nebrija’s observation suggests a corollary: translation has also been a companion of empire. As imperial instrument, translation has taken various forms… READ MORE

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