Off kilter.

This does bring up another issue that comes up in any translation, but with a particular lilt in Aira. And a method I use for dealing with it. Aira’s prose is just barely off kilter, to my ear, slightly out of tune or off the beat. This is inseparable from the work’s sensibility, not some kind of imposed style. That same oddness comes through in my English, I hope. Upon each re-reading, I must resist making minor, mostly syntactic corrections that would tune it up, so to speak. Whenever tempted, I go back to the original and translate back, that is, check to make sure that Aira did not choose that other wording, or its close equivalent, in Spanish, that would have made me translate that passage in the first place in the way I am now tempted to correct it.

Scott Esposito has six questions for Katherine Silver about her translation work in César Aira’s The Miracle Cures of Dr. Aira. [via Conversational Reading]

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One response to “Off kilter.

  1. Pingback: Rojak: Consecutive Bumper Edition. | Who Killed Lemmy Caution?

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