Posts under tag: Amalia Gladhart
UO Spanish professor Amalia Gladhart has several book recommendations she wants to share to help deepen people’s understanding of world literature — if only they weren’t written in Spanish.
But some of Gladhart’s favorite texts are written in that romance language. So about a decade ago she started translating published writing from Spanish to English because she wants to make those books and other written work more accessible to a broader audience.
Her newest project is to translate Argentine writer Angélica Gorodischer’s “Jaguar’s Tomb,” a 218-page novel that explores the difficulty of representing loss and grief in literature. Gladhart was awarded a prestigious 2018 National Endowment for the Arts literature translation fellowship to complete the work.
“I think it’s important to translate books like ‘Jaguar’s Tomb’ because I want to broaden and complicate people’s ideas about Latin American literature,” Gladhart said. “In some ways, this novel will meet reader’s expectations of Argentine literature. But in other ways, it will interrupt and challenge their expectations.”
The National Endowment for the Arts funds translation projects like Gladhart’s because the organization shares her desire to make more fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry available to an English-speaking audience.
“Jaguar’s Tomb” will be the second novel of Gorodischer’s that Gladhart has translated. She first met the author while she was teaching at a study abroad program in Argentina and searching for a new translation project. The site director facilitated an introduction with Gorodischer and Gladhart was immediately captivated by the author and her writing, which she lauds as being thought-provoking, funny and engaging.
“Angélica Gorodischer is such an interesting author to translate because she pushes the edge of many genres,” Gladhart said.
She describes Gorodischer as a prolific writer who has published a diverse body of work, including short stories, science fiction, novels, feminist commentary and a regular newspaper column that covers the gamut from politics to culture. The author is pushing 90 years of age and is still actively writing and offering support to emerging female authors.
Gladhart was drawn to “Jaguar’s Tomb” because she’s interested in probing the central problem of the book: the expression of absence. Gorodischer uses a trio of different narrators to explore the difficulty of representing absence, including absences related to the abductions and disappearances that occurred during the military dictatorship in Argentina’s “dirty war” of 1976-83.
To read the novel as a citizen of Argentina in 2005 would be a very different experience from reading the translation in the United States in 2018, Gladhart points out. This contextual difference is one of many considerations that she will take into account as she translates the book and aims to uphold the intricacies of the story and the questions it raises.
The English words that she selects for the translation are obviously another factor Gladhart will need to consider — one that is not as simple as just exchanging Spanish words for their English counterparts.
“Every single word is different in translation,” Gladhart said. “Each Spanish word has a constellation of words it might connect to. And while an English word might share its definition in the dictionary, it has an entirely different constellation of words attached to it.”
Gladhart finds that dichotomy adds an enjoyable complexity to translation work. She sees an appealing challenge in trying to remake the story using different tools and word connotations. She’s discovered that she’s drawn to work that involves a generous amount of word play and puzzles to solve.
Historical details and literary devices and contextual clues also must be taken into account. She explains that she spends hours researching references that might contain a deeper meaning: Is there a reason the author incorporated a specific type of food or plant or location? If so, Gladhart tries to honor that symbolism in her translation.
“I aim to present my fullest expression of my understanding of the text through my translation,” she said. “There are so many different ways that one can read and understand something. Translating stories is really a mix of the scholarly and creative.”
The fellowship will give Gladhart more time to fully immerse herself in the work and word play of translating “Jaguar’s Tomb.” Once the project is complete in 2019, it probably won’t be long before she finds another text to tackle so she can share even more writing with a larger audience.
“There are so many exciting and odd and interesting stories in the world that we wouldn’t get to read without translations,” she said.
—By Emily Halnon, University Communications
The National Endowment for the Arts announced that Amalia Gladhart will receive an NEA Literature Translation Fellowship
The National Endowment for the Arts announced that Amalia Gladhart will receive an NEA Literature Translation Fellowship of $12,500. Gladhart is one of 22 Literature Translation Fellows for fiscal year 2018. In total, the NEA is recommending $300,000 in grants this round to support the new translation of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry from 15 different languages into English.
The author of 30 novels, short story collections, and essays, Angélica Gorodischer (b. 1928) is known for her science fiction, fantasy, crime, and feminist writing. She is the recipient of numerous national and international awards, including the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement previously won by such writers as Ray Bradbury, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Stephen King. Published in 2005, Jaguars’ Tomb is a 218-page novel of 3 distinct parts that addresses the difficulty of representing absence, including those absences left by the abductions and disappearances that occurred during the military dictatorship in Argentina’s “Dirty War” of 1976-83. Each of the sections repeats images from the others and circles a central space that, though it serves different functions in each section, always has a sense of loss at its center.
Amalia Gladhart is a translator and professor of Spanish at the University of Oregon and Head of the Department of Romance Languages. She has written widely on contemporary Latin American literature and performance. Her translations include The Potbellied Virgin and Beyond the Islands, both by Alicia Yánez Cossío; and Trafalgar, by Angélica Gorodischer. Her collection of prose poems, Detours, was published by Burnside Review Press. Her short fiction appears in Saranac Review, The Fantasist, Atticus Review, Eleven Eleven, and elsewhere.
Professor Amalia Gladhart spoke to faculty and students in the translation program at the Instituto Superior “San Bartolomé” in Rosario, Argentina, on September 29, 2015. Addressing the group on the eve of International Translators’ Day, Gladhart’s lecture was titled “Consideraciones contextuales a la hora de traducir: Reflexiones desde la práctica.” The talk drew on work-in-progress in both translation (a translation of Angélica Gorodischer’s novel Tumba de jaguares) and translation studies, asking what it means to translate context–a seeming impossibility that translators must creatively resolve in each project. Discussion following the talk was lively, a reflection of the strong preparation the students have received in diverse aspects of translation.
Read coverage of the event in Rosario daily, La capital[click here for English translation]Rosario, Argentina, August 24, 2013: The Colegio de Traductores de la Provincia de Santa Fe hosted a public dialogue with novelist Angélica Gorodischer and Professor of Spanish and Head of Romance Languages Amalia Gladhart, moderated by translator Delfina Morganti. Gladhart’s translation of Trafalgar, a novel in stories by Gorodsicher first published in 1979, was published in 2013 by Small Beer Press. The second of Gorodsicher’s books to appear in English translation–Kalpa Imperial, translated by Ursula K. LeGuin, is also available from Small Beer Press–Trafalgar combines a down-to-earth sensibility with tales of interplanetary travel, as protagonist Trafalgar Medrano regales his friends with tales of his far-ranging sales trips. In their discussion, Gorodsicher and Gladhart discussed writing and translation practices, the challenges of publishing work in translation, and translation as a collaborative practice.