Art Works Blog

Translating the Untranslatable

Washington, DC

How do you translate something that makes perfect sense in one language but, if taken literally, would be gibberish in another? That is the dilemma that faces all translators of literary work, but especially so for Natasha Wimmer, who recently handled the translation of two of Roberto Bolaño's last novels, The Savage Detectives, and 2666 (for which she received an NEA Literature Fellowship).

Hear the entire podcast, and be sure to check out the newest addition to the NEA's Writer's Corner: the 2011 NEA Literature Fellows for Translation. See what new foreign works our fabulous translators will be bringing to U.S. readers.


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