Given the proliferation and diversity of literary offerings in the Big Apple, you’d think it would go without saying that NYC would be home to an excellent series devoted to the art of literary translation, but, strange to say, there hasn’t been one. Fortunately, just such a series is launching next week, and if the opening line-up is any indication, it’s going to bring us some stellar programming. The Bridge Series, curated by Bill Martin and Sal Robinson, will kick off with an Edith Grossman and Steve Dolph double-header at McNally Jackson Books (Wednesday, March 2, 7:00 p.m.). According to the series website, The Bridge “aims to promote public awareness of the art of translation by serving as a regular venue for readings, by both well-established and emerging translators and authors, and discussions on a range of issues related to the art and practice of translation.” When I asked Robinson to tell me more about the organizers’ plans for the series, she said they wanted to “give translators, editors, and readers a regular venue to hear and discuss translations, something that wasn’t tied to a particular book or promotion.” “The focus,” she added, will be “on the translator and the craft of translation.” I was happy to see their bridge logo, which looks a lot like the picture of the “arcades” I drew on the whiteboard yesterday while discussing the key image from Walter Benjamin’s “The Task of the Translator” with members of my graduate translation workshop at Columbia University.
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