First of all, heartfelt thanks go to the 61 people who found the time to join us from England, Scotland, Wales, Brazil,, Mozambique, Portugal, Argentina, Spain, the USA, and Canada.
Dr Ellen Jones herself joined us from Mexico City to give us a fascinating insight into dealing with multilingualism as a literary translator, while debunking the misconception that literature, and by extension its translation, must be monolingual.
Ellen quoted examples from her book Literature in Motion: Translating Multilingualism Across the Americas (Columbia University Press, 2022), which draws on works and translations written in English, Guarani, Spanglish, Portunhol, and Frenglish.
With some wonderful examples of multilingual wordplay, neologism, palimpsests and other general wordsmithery, Ellen really did give us food for thought on what is increasingly becoming an ever-present body of literary work, including in translation, with an irreverent but brilliant fusion of multiple languages. She made a very relevant point that the translation can (and should) be a complimentary continuation of a fluid literary process, and not necessarily a single, separate entity.
The audience were engaged, with several questions asked and answered at the end – a fascinating event for all!
Literature is often assumed to be monolingual: publishing rights are sold on the basis of linguistic territories, and translated books are assumed to move from one “original” language to another.
Yet a wide range of contemporary literary works mix and meld two or more languages, incorporating translation into their composition. How are these multilingual works translated, and what are the cultural and political implications of doing so?
In this talk, literary translator Ellen Jones will present her book Literature in Motion: Translating Multilingualism Across the Americas (Columbia University Press, 2022), which examines the connection between translation and multilingualism and considers its significance for the theory, practice, and publishing of literature in translation.
Ellen Jones is a literary translator with a PhD from Queen Mary, University of London. Her recent translations from Spanish include Ave Barrera’s The Forgery (2022, co-translated with Robin Myers), Bruno Lloret’s Nancy (2020) and Rodrigo Fuentes’s Trout, Belly Up (2019). Her book Literature in Motion: Translating Multilingualism Across the Americas is published by Columbia University Press. Her critical writing has appeared in the Times Literary Supplement, the Los Angeles Review of Books, the Guardian, and elsewhere. You can find her at www.ellencjones.com.
Please note timings:
8pm – 9.15pm UK time
4pm – 5.15pm Brazil time
Please note, this event will take place via Zoom