ReadySteadyBlog

The Arab British Centre has announced that the winners of The Arab British Centre Award for Culture 2017 are playwright Hannah Khalil and Arts Canteen:

The winners were announced at The Arab British Centre’s 40th anniversary reception at City Hall in front of over 250 guests, including Lord Owen, who inaugurated the Centre in 1977, and H.E. Sulaiman Almazroui, The Ambassador of the UAE.

A distinguished panel of judges selected the winners of the 2017 prize, from a shortlist of ten candidates. The panel included Sir Derek Plumbly KCMG, Chairman of The Arab British Centre, Venetia Porter, British Museum Curator of Islamic and Contemporary Art, Salma Tuqan, V&A Curator Contemporary Arab Art and Design, Carolyn Perry, Director MBI AL Jaber Foundation, British Council Acting Director Arts for the Middle East and North Africa, David Elliott, and previous award winner and playwright Hassan Abdulrazzaq.

The Arab British Centre would like to congratulate Hannah Khalil and Arts Canteen and the fantastic shortlisted candidates; Ahmed Masoud, Elhum Shakerifar, Reem Kelani and Issam Kourbaj in the category for Individuals, and Comma Press, Mosaic Rooms, Marsm and Qisetna: Talking Syria in the category for organisations.

The Arab British Centre Award for Culture 2017 was presented in collaboration with the British Council, who will provide the winners with the opportunity and support to develop international networks. The Award winners will also receive a £2,500 cash prize to support the development of their work.

Click for more information on The Arab British Centre Award for Culture.

"Considered by many to be the 'Icelandic Ulysses' for its wordplay, neologisms, structural upheaval, and reinvention of what’s possible in Icelandic writing, Tómas Jansson's Bestseller was indeed a bestseller, heralding a new age of Icelandic literature..."

A retired, senile bank clerk confined to his basement apartment, Tómas Jónsson decides that, since memoirs are all the rage, he’s going to write his own—a sure bestseller—that will also right the wrongs of contemporary Icelandic society. Egoistic, cranky, and digressive, Tómas blasts away while relating pick-up techniques, meditations on chamber pot use, ways to assign monetary value to noise pollution, and much more. His rants parody and subvert the idea of the memoir—something that’s as relevant today in our memoir-obsessed society as it was when the novel was first published.

Tómas Jansson's Bestseller is out now from Open Letter Books.

Sam Bray (translator, alongside of John F. Hobbins, of Genesis 1–11: A New Old Translation for Readers, Scholars, and Translators, which "follows the Hebrew text closely and leaves in what many translations leave out: physicality, ambiguity, repetition, even puns") explains some of his translation theory:

“Double translation” means rendering one term in the original with two terms in the translation. This technique is almost never used in contemporary English Bible translations, but there is precedent for it. Ancient Greek translators of Genesis used double translations (e.g., the Septuagint’s “chest and belly” in Genesis 3:14, and Theodotion’s “in the wind during the cooling off of the day” in Genesis 3:8). Medieval English translators used double translations. And some gifted 20th century writers used them, such as Hannah Arendt, when translating a word from Aristotle into German, and Langston Hughes, when translating an African political slogan into English.

Why double translation? Our translation is meant to be very close, closer than the widely used English translations of Genesis, both Jewish and Christian (e.g., NJPS, NRSV, Alter, NIV, ESV). So we don’t use double translation to gild the lily. Rather, the idea is that languages don’t fully align. An expression may have multiple senses or shades of meaning that can’t be carried over into the receiving language with a single translation. In these cases, a translator can try to capture more of the significance with a double translation, at the cost, however, of giving up the concision of the original.

PEN Translates "seeks expert linguists with good knowledge of the publishing field to help us assess books submitted for a grant. Assessors are paid £140 per assessment. For the current round, we are urgently seeking assessors in the following languages: Occitan (Gascon), Portuguese (Brazil) and Danish."

Please write to rebekah@englishpen.org.

From World Literature Today, review of The Contemporary Spanish-American Novel: Bolaño and After:

This unique collection of essays by fifty scholars and writers on the work of sixty-nine contemporary novelists from Spanish America is a valuable resource for scholars and readers alike. The authors included for discussion were born between 1949 and the early 1970s and have published the bulk of their work since 1996. The essays on individual writers are organized in six chapters based on their point of origin from one of the following geographical and cultural regions: Mexico, Central America, the Spanish speaking Caribbean and Venezuela, the Greater Andean region, the Southern Cone, or the United States. Although much of US Latino literature is currently being written in English, the editors conclude that the influence of these writers and their works on Spanish American letters, both in English and in Spanish translation, merits their inclusion in this volume. For readers who do not read Spanish, information is provided on recent novels that have been translated into English, and, for film aficionados, cinematic adaptations of novels by the authors studied are also cited. MORE...

Cavafy

The excellent American indie publisher, Archipelago, have given their website a nice upgrade. Much of real interest (often about translating and translation) on their blog too.

Recent article on Greek poet Cavafy is a nice case in point. It takes three translations of “The City”, one of his most well-known poems, from Edmund Keeley & Philip Sherrard, Rae Delven and Daniel Mendelsohn, and gives them each a spin. For me, it's hands down Delven:

You will find no new lands, you will find no other seas.
The city will follow you. You will roam the same
streets. And you will age in the same neighborhoods;
and you will grow gray in these same houses.
Always you will arrive in this city. Do not hope for any other –
There is no ship for you, there is no road.
As you have destroyed your life here
in this little corner, you have ruined it in the entire world.