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The Politics of Translation

Marina Warner: Translate this!, 11 October 2018

This Little Art 
by Kate Briggs.
Fitzcarraldo, 365 pp., £12.99, September 2017, 978 1 910695 45 6
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Translation as Transhumance 
by Mireille Gansel, translated by Ros Schwartz.
Les Fugitives, 150 pp., £10, November 2017, 978 0 9930093 3 4
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Sympathy for the Traitor: A Translation Manifesto 
by Mark Polizzotti.
MIT, 168 pp., £17.99, May 2018, 978 0 262 03799 0
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The 100 Best Novels in Translation 
by Boyd Tonkin.
Galileo, 304 pp., £14.99, June 2018, 978 1 903385 67 8
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The Work of Literary Translation 
by Clive Scott.
Cambridge, 285 pp., £75, June 2018, 978 1 108 42682 4
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... dead, Your wife, your child? Ros Schwartz is quoting here from a selection of Sachs in English by Michael Hamburger and others, whereas when it comes to rendering from Vietnamese, she offers the original transliterated, and then, working closely with Gansel, translates from her French versions, thereby forging a powerful echo chamber (even two steps ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: What’s in a name?, 19 October 2000

... trouble is that de Bernières hasn’t got a legal leg to stand on. If he had, McDonald’s (of hamburger fame) would already have helped themselves to whatever they could swallow of Professor Renfrew’s Institute; the Tory MP for Hitchin and Harpenden would no doubt be trying to get his hands on any proceeds from Dirty Dealing; and Richard Ashcroft, a ...

Tales of Hofmann

Blake Morrison, 20 November 1986

Acrimony 
by Michael Hofmann.
Faber, 79 pp., £8.95, October 1986, 0 571 14527 2
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Idols 
by Stephen Romer.
Oxford, 48 pp., £3.95, September 1986, 0 19 281984 4
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Opia 
by Alan Moore.
Anvil, 83 pp., £4.50, August 1986, 9780856461613
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New Chatto Poets 
edited by Andrew Motion.
Chatto, 79 pp., £4.95, September 1986, 0 7011 3080 6
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A.D. Hope: Selected Poems 
edited by Ruth Morse.
Carcanet, 139 pp., £3.95, April 1986, 0 85635 640 9
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The Electrification of the Soviet Union 
by Craig Raine.
Faber, 69 pp., £8.95, August 1986, 0 571 14539 6
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... The acrimony in Michael Hofmann’s book is that of a son towards his father. Like a family photograph album, the sequence ‘My Father’s House’ records the son’s growth from childhood to manhood, and the father’s from early to late middle age: each poem denotes some new phase, and usually low point, in the relationship ...

Proust? Ha!

Michael Hofmann, 21 August 1997

A Book of Memories 
by Péter Nádas, translated by Ivan Sanders and Imre Goldstein.
Cape, 706 pp., £16.99, August 1997, 9780224035248
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... shows in Frank O’Hara’s great poem of 1959, ‘The Day Lady Died’, when he buys himself a hamburger and a malted and ‘an ugly NEW WORLD WRITING to see what the poets / in Ghana are doing these days’. Subsequently, foreign titles had something of the status of evidence, or alibi: an increasingly mendacious and half-hearted assertion that such ...

Who Won’t Be Voting for Trump

Eliot Weinberger: Anyone for Trump?, 20 October 2016

... plotting. They keep plotting, and this has been going on for so long and everybody knows it …’Michael Bloomberg After the former Republican New York mayor endorsed Clinton at the Democratic Convention (‘Let’s elect a sane, competent person’), Trump said: ‘I was gonna hit one guy in particular, a very little guy, I was gonna hit this guy so ...

Why can’t she just do as she ought?

Michael Newton: ‘Gone with the Wind’, 6 August 2009

Frankly, My Dear: ‘Gone with the Wind’ Revisited 
by Molly Haskell.
Yale, 244 pp., £16.99, March 2009, 978 0 300 11752 3
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... red schoolhouse, Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, Wall Street, Andy Warhol, the hamburger and Gypsy Rose Lee. In this mixed company, GWTW teeters erratically between Yankee high finance and a chaste, if manipulative stripper. Noticeably the only film on the list, GWTW is a national memorial to American forgetting, a movie that resurrects two ...

The Last London

Iain Sinclair, 30 March 2017

... FREE CASH, IMPERIAL EQUITY, CITY SHEEPSKINS, RESPONSIBLE GAMBLING, TAPAS REVOLUTION, PROPER HAMBURGER. And of course Sainsbury’s Local. When, in truth, there is no local left. Those signs confirm the dissolution of locality. The last London, Smart City, is nervous about unreformed localism, nuisance quarters with medieval borders clinging to outmoded ...

Nation-States and National Identity

Perry Anderson, 9 May 1991

The Identity of France. Vol. II: People and Production 
by Fernand Braudel, translated by Sian Reynolds.
Collins, 781 pp., £25, December 1990, 0 00 217774 9
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... it always had elements of dressing-up. Then diet – still much more resistant, but the time when hamburger advertisements in the Metro could be surcharged with graffiti like Français, Françaises rejetez cette bouffe déshonorante is also past: fast food and nouvelle cuisine are in principle at home everywhere. Then furniture – with the spreading modules ...

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