«Our Romantic view of creativity leads us to undervalue craft,» – just one of the lines that sounded painfully familiar in the brilliant new piece by Robert Chandler, and a few more to inspire you to read it too:
« A scholar or critic can choose which passages to focus on, whereas a translator has to do justice to every word of the original; he has to think about everything.»
Robert Chandler – one of my favourite translators and translator mentors – certainly knows what he is writing about. His translations always show that deep and profound understanding of the original, and that incredible – and incredibly careful – attention to detail, that sets them apart.
And I still have very fond memories of his workshops I got to attend in London a few years back. We were doing Teffi at the time, if memory serves me right, and I remember feeling as if I was rediscovering her work.
Which is why it pains to read that so many people are too quick to judge, and not prepared to trust the translator:
« People often seem surprisingly eager to imagine that a translator is not doing his or her job.»
« People who would trust a writer often do not trust a translator.»
Here’s the link to both the article, and the lovely image above. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.