• Con Cú

Translation in the Age of Covid-19

Updated: Mar 27


Over the last year, I have devoted some time to translation from Spanish to English, French to English and French to German. The first fruit of this effort is my translation from Spanish of El Viaje Interminable by José del Pozo Artigas. Editorial Mapalé, an Ottawa-based Spanish, English and French publisher, launched the novel in Spanish in 2019 and as of yesterday in English. The Unending Journey chronicles forty years in the life of Marcos Morales, a Chilean intellectual who flees to Canada to escape the brutality of the Pinochet dictatorship. In Montreal, he struggles to re-establish himself professionally while plagued by the guilt of leaving others to carry on the resistance to the new regime. In 2021, Guernica Editions will publish my English translation of Choisir Éléonore written by Montreal novelist, Andrée A. Gratton. The translation, Choosing Eleonore, is the story of an introverted, sexually-inhibited woman's sudden obsession about becoming the closest friend of an outgoing, polyamorous woman. I have also co-translated this novel from French to German with the help of Ilse Schrader, a German translator living in Spain. We are currently trying to interest a publisher in picking up the novel in time for the 2020 Frankfurt Book Fair where Canada will be the guest country of honour. A second French to German co-translation, this time working with Yvonne Kirsch, is underway for Didier Leclair's much-celebrated novel Ce pays, qui est le mien. It should be ready sometime in June. Literary translation is indeed a fascinating process. It is also a great way to hone one's linguistic skills, especially by working with a co-translator. Of course, finding publishers for translations can be challenging, and I am keeping my fingers crossed for the two German co-translations. If you have any suggestions, send me a line! It would be wonderful to see them in print in the land of Goethe :)