Hi Friday! Greetings from Tucson, Arizona, which is hosting this year’s American Literary Translators Association conference. Both blog editors Katrine and Patty are in attendance, and happy to tan, talk translation, eat tacos, meet Asymptote‘s long list of contributors and staff, and fangirl about all things lit-related. How exciting that the winners of the National Translation Awards are being announced right as this blog post is being written—stay tuned on this page if you’d like on-the-minute updates, or poke around this corner of the web next week! We’ll be sure to give a full report.
Although the American translation world has stopped for ALTA, translation never sleeps in the other corners of the world. And new issues in translation, globalization, and migration also make room for new terminology: here’s how the concept of “fourth-world” literature can provide opportunities for translating the voiceless.
At Asymptote, we pride ourselves in offering the best of the world’s literature—for free. But in Grenoble, France, you can get 1-, 3-, and 5-minute literature handouts from a vending machine. Don’t knock the short attention span, though: we can learn a lot from children’s literature, especially in translation—like in this look at 20th-century Yiddish children’s texts. And speaking of children’s writing—what happens when British “masterpiece” Alice in Wonderland is translated?
This week in (confirmed) prizewinners: the $50,000-dollar Neustadt Prize, often bitterly referred to as the “American Nobel,” has been awarded to novelist and essayist Dubrovka Ugrešić. And though Norwegian Jon Fosse is frequently considered a Nobel contender—though more often for his dramas than his prose writing—the writer recently won the largest literary award among Scandinavian circles, the Nordic Council Literature Prize. And this year’s (also substantial—at $25,000 dollars) Dhahan Prizes for Punjabi fiction have been announced—big congrats to Darshan Singh!