Jo Reed: I'm sure there are more sentences that seemed almost untranslatable.
Natasha Wimmer: Yes, well yeah, it's slang essentially. And that's the frustrating part about being a translator. I was just thinking about this on the way over here for this interview. I was reading another book in translation and it's very hard for me to read books in translation, especially from the Spanish just because the wooden parts of it are so transparent to me and I know that the same is true of my own translations. And so, you know, it's an imperfect art and I think that as a translator or at least for me, I'm often conscious of that and I find it frustrating. I guess my test recently has been can I flip through the book and stop at any page and read a sentence and not feel like I want to hide under my desk. And more and more so I feel that way but still it isn't the same. It is -- you are looking through the glass directly to a certain extent and so yeah, that's a bit difficult for the translator.
n this excerpt from this week's Art Works podcast, Wimmer discusses the frustration of translating the vast amount of slang Bolaño used in those books into understandable English. [1:00]