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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