Lit Seen: Joshua Ferris at Housing Works, n+1, Bolaño's Hit Translator

A monthly literary column

Bolaño's writing is often ugly. Was it a challenge to re-create some of the more tangled, self-consciously wooden passages? Yes, very much so. The translator's inclination is to smooth things over and make passages read seamlessly, so it's a counterintuitive process. After translating certain lines, I had to actively restrain myself from prettying them up.

Exhausted 2666 readers like myself might hope you're presently on a well-deserved vacation. I'm not working on a book-length project, but I'm not exactly on vacation. I had planned to take some time off, but little projects keep cropping up, and I have an 11-month-old daughter, which is consuming in itself. Meanwhile, though, I'm realizing now how much I learned from translating The Savage Detectives and 2666, and I'm eager to test myself on the next book, whatever it is.

More with Natasha Wimmer here.
Author/publicist Sloane Crosley, agent Jay Mandel, and author Joshua Ferris mingle for the greater good.
Mollye Chudacoff
Author/publicist Sloane Crosley, agent Jay Mandel, and author Joshua Ferris mingle for the greater good.

zbaron@villagevoice.com

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