The (Dis)Advantages of Freedom – Translating Post-Communist Literature Thirty Years after the Fall of Dictatorships

LTAC member Diana Manole is organizing and moderating a roundtable that will explore how thirty years of post-communist freedom of speech and market economy might have changed the dynamics of translating into English works from the former socialist camp. The roundtable discussion will also give special attention to the translator’s role and strategies as a linguistic, cultural, and sociopolitical mediator. Participants will read short excerpts from their translations of poetry and prose by award-winning European writers. Come to discover post-communist literature and perhaps be inspired to translate it one day!

When: Friday, Nov. 15, from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm

Where: University of Toronto, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Alumni Hall, Room 404, 121 St. Joseph Street, Toronto, ON.
The building is wheelchair accessible.

PARTICIPANTS:
Rachael Daum, ALTA (Serbian, Russian, and German)
Christina Kramer, University of Toronto [emerita], ALTA, LTAC (Macedonian)
Tania Samsonova, ALTA, LTAC (Russian)
Maša Torbica, University of Waterloo, Emerging Translator (Serbian, Serbo-Croatian)

BIOS OF TRANSLATORS AND AUTHORS
Rachael Daum works as the Communications and Awards Manager of the American Literary Translators Association. Her original work and translations have appeared in Tupelo Quarterly, Two Lines Journal, Queen Mob’s Teahouse, The Airship Daily, and elsewhere. She currently lives and works in Cologne, Germany. She will read poems from A Regatta of Paper Boats, published by Marko Tomaš in 2016.

Marko Tomaš was born in Ljubljana, Slovenia, in 1978, educated in present-day Bosnia and Serbia, and is regarded as one of the most influential modern-day poets in the Balkans. He has published nine collections of poetry and his works have been translated into Italian, German, French, and English. Tomaš currently lives and works in Zagreb, Croatia.

Christina E. Kramer is a Professor Emerita in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Toronto. Her translations include A Spare Life by Lidija Dimkovska (long-listed for Best Translated Book of the year), Freud’s Sister by Goce Smilevski (Lois Roth Prize Honourable Mention) and three novels by Luan Starova. Kramer was awarded a grant by the National Endowment for the Arts (US) and is currently translating Dimkovska’s novel Grandma Non-Oui, from which she will read an excerpt.

Lidija Dimkovska is a poet, novelist, essayist, and translator. She has published six books of poetry, three novels and an American diary. Her work has been translated into more than twenty languages and has earned her numerous literary awards, including the European Union Prize for Literature (2013). Her third novel, Grandma Non-Oui, was shortlisted for the Macedonian Best Prose Book award and for the international literary award Balkanika.

Diana Manole is a Romanian-Canadian scholar and literary translator, and the award-winning author of nine books of poetry and drama in her home country. She has translated or co-translated three plays, as wells as seven poetry collections into and from Romanian. Manole will read selections from Emilian Galaicu-Păun’s work, co-translated with Adam J Sorkin, which earned second prize in the 2017/18 John Dryden Translation Competition in the UK.

Emilian Galaicu-Păun is a Romanian-language poet and prose writer from the Republic of Moldova, formerly part of the Soviet Union, as well as a translator (French to Romanian), a journalist, and the editor-in-chief of Cartier Publishing House in Chișinău. He has won numerous awards in Romania and Moldova, including the National Prize of Moldova in 2015. His poetry combines Romanian, Moldovan, and international cultural references, often self-ironically reinventing the poet as a citizen of the world.

Tatiana Samsonova was born in Russia and moved to Canada in 1999. She has published over thirty translations, including works by such prominent authors as Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood, Robertson Davies, and Antonia Byatt. She will read an excerpt from A Light Drizzle by Elena Botchorichvili, a novella depicting the story of three Georgian generations from pre-revolutionary times to the dissolution of the Soviet Union. This will be her first translation into English, forthcoming from Quattro Books in 2020.

Elena Botchorichvili was born in Georgia (then part of the Soviet Union) and currently lives in Quebec, while writing short stories in Russian. Her books have been translated into French, Italian, Czech, Romanian, Portuguese, and Georgian. Her characters strive to be happy, but history tramples over people like a tank. In 2016, Botchorichvili was awarded the Russkaya Premia, one of the most prestigious Russian literary honours, for her collection Nothing But to Wait and Watch.

Maša Torbica is a Serbian-Canadian writer, translator, and scholar, as well as a doctoral candidate at the University of Waterloo, specializing in Canadian literature and the rhetoric of decolonization. Her recent work has appeared in The New Quarterly, The Puritan, FreeFall, and Versal. She will read several unpublished translations of Danilo Kiš’s poetry and prose.s

Often described as one of the most important Central European writers of the twentieth century, Danilo Kiš (1935-1989) was a Yugoslav citizen of mixed (Jewish, Hungarian, Serbian, and Montenegrin) ethnic background. He received numerous national and international awards for his literary work but was forced to move to France after the controversy surrounding his short story collection A Tomb for Boris Davidovich (1976), a postmodern critique of human rights violations under communist and totalitarian regimes.

For more information, contact Diana Manole by email: dianamanole@trentu.ca

By | 2019-11-03T10:23:40-05:00 October 30th, 2019|Categories: Events & Anouncements|