Thanks for checking back in for Episode 3.
This post is going to discuss one of the secrets of translated fiction, the “to foreword or not to foreword” question; well, for two Pescara authors anyway: Paolo Di Vincenzo, who I’ve been chatting to in previous posts, and a new entry on this blog post, Marcello Nicodemo. Marcello has already published four novels: Nel Fuoco (alla fine del sogno), Di li’ a poco sarebbe piovuto, Ferragosto in Famiglia, e Voci del Purgatorio which I’ll be covering in more detail in coming weeks.
But before I ask Paolo and Marcello how they feel about literature in translation, what about you?
I’ve just finished a webinar with Oliver Lawrence on how to translate for the travel and tourism industry, and the distinction he drew between the types of reader her translates for – travellers and tourists – made me think of the to foreword or not to foreword debate in translated fiction. When you read a book translated from another language and cultural context, are you looking for the authentic experience and want to find your way around the new context by yourself – so no foreword- or are you one of those people who gets the guidebook and studies it from cover to cover before setting off, like you would with a foreword?
In translated literature, as in world travel, some people prefer to go off the map, while others go for the risk reduction option, safe in the knowledge that there won’t be any surprises.
Tourist or traveller?
So, are you a tourist or a traveller when it comes to translated fiction? Should cultural context be served up on a plate, or should the reader be allowed to explore it, completely off the map??
I asked both authors, …in Italian.
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