Margellos World Republic of Letters

An Interview with Mark Polizzotti

We had the privilege of sitting down to talk with Mark Polizzotti, who, among other things, has recently translated a trio of novellas from Nobel Prize–winner Patrick Modiano, Suspended Sentences, which publishes today. In our conversation, we talk about Modiano, the Nobel Prize, the art of translation, and the joy of

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Quiet Resonance: Translating Patrick Modiano

Mark Polizzotti— At first blush, the qualities suggested by Patrick Modiano’s fictions do not shout “Nobel.” Unlike Sartre (the laureate malgre lui), with his grand philosophical pronouncements, or France’s previous honoree, the famously peripatetic J. M. G. Le Clezio, Modiano tends to keep to himself, in narratives that are often

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Translating Trans-Atlantyk: Behind the Scenes with Danuta Borchardt (Part 3)

In the previous installments (part one, part two) of Danuta Borchardt‘s reflections on translating Trans-Atlantyk, she articulated why the variant of Polish Witold Gombrowicz used in the novel was so difficult to render in English. After considerable research and experimentation, she hit upon an approach that enabled her to translate the archaisms and idiosyncrasies

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Yale Press Podcast: A Conversation with Tim Parks

Shortly before his death in 1837, Giacomo Leopardi, a prolific Italian writer, translator, and thinker, began to organize a small, thematic collection of his writings in an attempt to give structure to his philosophical musings. This collection, culled from his 4,500-page diary, Zibaldone, provides a fascinating introduction to the arguments

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Translating Trans-Atlantyk: Behind the Scenes with Danuta Borchardt (Part 2)

In last week’s post, available here, Danuta Borchardt explained some of the immediate challenges she faced in translating Trans-Atlantyk, a novel by the celebrated Polish writer Witold Gombrowicz. The farcical adventures of a penniless young writer stranded in Argentina are narrated in the style of the gawęda, a tale told by the fireside. The

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Translating Trans-Atlantyk: Behind the Scenes with Danuta Borchardt

Many consider Polish novelist Witold Gombrowicz one of the greatest writers of the past hundred years and Danuta Borchardt is undoubtedly one of his finest translators. Her rendering of Ferdydurke won the 2001 National Translation Award given by the American Literary Translators Association, and her recent edition of Trans-Atlantyk has garnered praise as

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Translating Place In Literature: An interview with Rodrigo Rey Rosa

We are pleased to release a new interview with Rodrigo Rey Rosa, author of Severina and The African Shore, both available to the English speaking world through Yale University Press’s Margellos World Republic of Letters series. In the interview, Rey Rosa talks about his writing and about the intricacies of

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An Interview with Jody Gladding, translator of Rimbaud the Son

We are delighted to release an interview with Jody Gladding, translator (with Elizabeth Deshays) of Pierre Michon’s Rimbaud the Son, now available through the Margellos World Republic of Letters series.  In the interview, Gladding discusses Michon’s groundbreaking book and addresses questions of translation. Yale University Press: Although Rimbaud the Son

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How to Learn Philosophy in Six Hours and Fifteen Minutes

Follow @WRLBooks “Beginning of modern thought.” Witold Gombrowicz starts his guide through modern philosophy with characteristic concision. The “First Lesson” is a description of Kant’s contributions to philosophy, with some explanation of Descartes to see where Kant is coming from. Gombrowicz — playwright, diarist, novelist, and thinker — leaps through

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Placing the Placeless: A Conversation with Rodrigo Rey Rosa

This interview by Jeffrey Gray was originally published in vol. 4, no. 2 (2007) in A Contracorriente. Placing the Placeless: a Conversation with Rodrigo Rey Rosa1 Jeffrey Gray, Seton Hall University Rodrigo Rey Rosa was born in Guatemala City, Guatemala, in 1958.  As a young writer, he lived for several years in Tangier,

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