A Dialogue about Translation (in German)

This past spring, the new online magazine TRANSIT published by the German department at UC Berkeley asked me to engage in a written exchange with Bernard Banoun, the French translator of Yoko Tawada (whom I translate into English). The idea was to conduct, in e-mail form, a sort of dialogue about translation that would touch on both our experience with Tawada’s work and our individual histories as translators. I found it quite interesting to write the letters to Bernard and see what he would answer back—the format created the space for an enjoyable sort of storytelling about our shared profession. And now the results of our conversation have been posted, i.e. published, and can be read by anyone who so wishes—anyone, that is, who reads German, since this is the language we were asked to converse in. Tut mir leid! But if you follow the link you can also admire one of Yoko’s earliest experiments with typing out her own manuscripts for the digital age: “Wer schreibt schöner,” she asks, “ich oder mein Computer?” (Who writes prettier, me or my computer?)

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