CASiLaC War and Culture Seminar Series
‘Literary Translation and the Aftermath of Civil War: The Case of Catalonia’ Friday 24th April in ORB 1.24 at 16.30
The Spanish civil war brought exile, censorship and a dictatorship that tried to suppress theCatalan culture and language. The English-speaking world still tends to seethat war through the words of Orwell and Hemingway or the eyes of Loach. Over seventy years later the translation and re-translation of Catalan writers like Mercè Rodoreda, Joan Sales or Josep Pla make available other ‘home-grown’ interpretations that reveal major European writers that have been silenced by the aftermath of a war that made writing and publishing in Catalan difficult. This paper will examine the relationship of these writers to war and revolution in the twentieth-century European history and how in translation they challenge the understanding of national literatures and tenacious historical myths both outside and inside the cultural space that nurtured them. The focus will be on Rodoreda’s In Diamond Square, Sales’s Uncertain Glory and Pla’s The Gray Notebook and Life Embitters.
After a five-year stint as Director of the British Centre for Literary Translation and Professor of Literary Translation at the University of EastAnglia, Peter Bush now works in Barcelona as a freelance translator. He wasawarded the 2012 Valle-Inclán Prize for his translation of Exiled from Almost Everywhere by Juan Goytisolo. He edited (with Susan Bassnett) The Translator as Writer and put together the anthology of Cuban stories The Voice of the Turtle. Some of his most recent projects include Adolfo García Ortega's The Birthday Buyer, Najat El Hachmi’s The Body Hunter, Quim Monzó’s A Thousand Morons, Teresa Solana’s Crazy Tales of Blood and Guts, Josep Pla’s The Gray Notebook, Lorca’s Sketches of Spain, Valle-Inclán’s Tyrant Banderas, and Russian Stories by Francesc Serés.