Comparative Literature

Mark Polizzotti: A Discussion of Translation

On October 18th, the Department welcomed the translator, publisher and editor Mark Polizzotti to Grenelle for a conversation with students and Faculty. The event took place within the frame of Professor Williams' CL3020 class on Production, Translation, Creation, Publication and with the support of the Center for Writers and Translators.

Polizzotti was discussing his recent book, Sympathy for the Traitor: A Translation Manifesto, which draws on his practical experience as a literary translator from French to English. He spoke about the challenges of translating such "deceptively simple" writers as Jean Echenoz and the Nobel prize winner Patrick Modiano and the ambiguous issues of "fidelity" and "treachery" in translating an author's words into another language and another culture. Polittzzi, too, was able to give some useful words of practical advice to the aspiring student translators in the class.