Fady Joudah on Translating the Poems of Ghassan Zaqtan

Interview excerpt from Yale Press:

Translation…celebrates difference, and in that it demands a larger sense of oneness, of togetherness. It’s up to the reader, or the reading culture to truly embrace that difference, seek it, without so much of the “aesthetic merit” masquerade.


Walter Benjamin referred to the “spirit” of a text; the question is always how. I find that I don’t like to talk about translation much, in part because the obsession with technicalities for me is such a symptom of our previously mentioned super-specialized world. It’s like that great line in The Good, the Bad & the Ugly: If you want to shoot, shoot, don’t talk. Similarly, if you want to translate, translate, write poetry.

Read the full here.


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