Gabriella Martin’s “On Sex and Death” in Reading in Translation

There’s a very smart review by Gabriella Martin of my co-translation (with Ignacio Infante) of Vicente Huidobro’s Sky-Quake in Reading in Translation. I’m particularly glad that Martin appreciates our trilingual edition:

The attention and care that Infante and Leong have put into excavating the most accurate editions of the Spanish and French originals—Temblor de cielo and Tremblement du ciel—and in turn translating from both versions, is immediately evident, and commendable….Publisher co•im•press’ clever trilingual format lends itself to a translational reading that positions Skyquake’s various versions not as discrete entities, but as relational parts that together form a whole work. The physical arrangement draws attention to the act of translation itself; the reader is not only forced to read this as a translation, as one of many possible versions of the text, but it also destabilizes the assumption of a one-to-one, direct correspondence between a source text and its translation. As scholar-translator Karen Emmerich reminds us, “[the] ‘source,’ the presumed object of translation, is not a stable ideal” (2). In Skyquake, it is unclear whether the French or Spanish came first, thus even what we view as the “original” is already marked by a process—or the possibility—of translation. Infante and Leong bring to light Emmerich’s observation that translators might “need to negotiate the existence of multiple texts…or even engage in the editorial finessing of a new so-called original” (20). The impact of this is greater, though—disrupting notions of equivalence paves the way to see translation more clearly as creation, rather than replication, and in turn, as an unequivocally creacionista act.

See the full review here.

~ by Michael Leong on July 21, 2020.

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