Monday, December 27, 2010

Lecture Anne Weber in Bielefeld, Germany

Anne Weber, born in 1964 in Offenbach (Germany) studied in France and currently lives in Paris. She writes each book in German and French. She will present her current book "Luft und Liebe" at the Literaturhaus in Bielefeld (Germany) on Wednesday, 23 february 2011 at 8pm.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Bibliography: Updated version

A new version of the bibliography (50 pages!) is now available online on

Everyone is invited to contribute with new entries to the bibliography.

I took too many liberties that's why I stopped ...

translating my own work, explained the author Waciny Laredj recently in an interview with Katja Ghosn in L'Orient n°54, 12/2010. Laredj was born in Algeria in 1954, he went to exile to Paris in 1994, where he teaches literature at the Sorbonne. He started self-translating one of his book Sayyidat al-maqâm/Les ailes de la reine from Arabic to French, because he could not find a publisher for his book. For that reason he wrote the next novel Hârisat al-dhilâl /La gardienne des ombres directly in French but translated it also to Arabic. So Laredj self-translated in both directions, from Arabic to French and vice versa.
Today he has stopped self-translating his work because he noticed that the two versions did not resemble anymore. For Laredj self-translation became rewriting and unlike other authors he was not satisfied with this development.

To read the full interview (in French) please click here

To learn more about the reasons for his literary language choice, please read his interview with Jeune Afrique.

To learn about how he collaborated with Marcel Bois and Catherine Charruau on some of his translations, please read the interview with Yelles.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Writing Past Each Other? Literary Translation and Community...

... is the title of a conference which will take place at Wellington, New Zealand, 11-13 December 2010. On Sunday there will be a panel on self-translation including the following topics:
  • Ruth Diver: Self-translation as Self-reinvention: the Case of Romain Gary
  • Sally Hill: Renatos Amato’s Antipodean Self-translation
  • Eduardo Zuccato: Tempting Translation: ‘Minor’ Languages and Global Literature
To see the full programm please click here.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Lecture on self-translation and Shoah Literature

Fransiska Louwagie (Université de Louvain) will give a lecture on "Témoignage et réécriture: Les écrivains de la Shoah en français et l’autotraduction" on Monday, November 29 at 6:00 p.m. at the Barker Center, Room 133 in Cambridge. For more information see the Anthropology Graduate Program at Harvard University.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Self-translation from indigenous languages

Last week I attended the first international conference on self-translation in Pescara, Italy. There I had the chance to meet Julio-César Santoyo, who has been researching on self-translation for many years. During our talk, he made me aware of self-translation from indigenous languages, an aspect of self-translation I had completely ignored till that day. He was so kind to give me a copy of a presentation he gave last year in Canada on this topic as a starting point for my own research. Back in Germany I now started researching. It is a really fascinating field.
Today I would like to present you a Mayan writer and self-translator: Humberto Ak'abal. He was born in 1953 in Momostenango, Guatemala. He writes his poetry in Quiché and translates it into Spanisch. His poems are published in bilingual editions. Some of his work has been translated from the Spanish version into English, German and other languages.

For further reading and listening:

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Alexakis book presentation in Tours, France

Vassilis Alexakis will present his new book Le premier mot this thursday, 18th November, at the Libraire La boîte à Livres in Tours, France.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Lectures by Thiong'o in November

The African self-translator Ngugi Wa Thiong'o will speak on several occasions in November 2010.

On November 20, 2010 at 3:30pm he will speak at the Chapman Conference Center in Miami about Dreams in a Time of War: A Childhood Memoir. This lecture is part of the Miami Book Fair international.

He will also give a lecture at the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum at Claremont McKenna College on Monday, November 29, 2010 from 6:45 pm till 8:00 pm.
For more information see the newsletter The Fortnightly.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Federman and Beckett...

both self-translators and friends. In his wonderful memorial essay samuel beckett: the gift of words, written shortly after Beckett's death, Raymond Federman shares his memories and gives us insight into their friendship and Becketts struggle with his self-translations. Please read the essay here..

Friday, October 29, 2010

The 6th International Postgraduate Conference in Translation and Interpreting

will take place this weekend at the University in Manchester.
The program is available here.
There is one contribution on self-translation:
"Theory and Practice of Self-Translation in the Case of Rosario Ferré"
Aurora Sambolín (University of Manchester, UK)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Curious Case of Translating One’s Own Literary Work

... was the title of a panel on self-translation at the 33rd Annual Conference of the American Literary Translators Association which took place last week (October 20-23) in Philadelphia.
Speakers were:
Willis Barnstone, “Freedoms and Worries in Translating My Book of French Poems into English”
Wei Shao, “Translating My Memoir Homeland from English to Chinese”
Shouhua Qi, “The Curious Case of Literary Self-Translation”

If anyone reading this blog attended the conference, I would love to hear more about it.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Lecture on self-translation

There will be a series of lectures on translation organized for MA students in literary translation in Utrecht, Netherlands. It is also possible for non-students to come, but you have to register beforehand. One of the lectures will focus on self-translation:

  • Self translation
    • Spreker: Fransiska Louwagie
    • Datum & tijd: 12 mei 2011, 15:30-17:30
    • Locatie: Lessius, Antwerpen, (STA.2.11)
    • Aanmelden: uiterlijk 11 april 2011
For more information, please click here.

An Interactive Festival of Literary Translation

... will take place under the title "Translated" in Melbourne, Australia next year at the Monash University. From February 7–12, 2011 there will be workshops, talks and panel discussions in French, German and Spanish.

There will also be an afternoon session on self-translation:
"Lia Hills and Ouyang Yu, both writers, translators and poets, will provide an insight into the advantages and pitfalls of self-translation."

For more information, please click here.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Nobel prize for Thiong'o?

Will it be another Nobel prize for a self-translator?
Soon we will know.
For more information check out the article in the Guardian:

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Indication of self-translation

Rarely one finds a discussion in the press about the habit in the publishing industry to present self-translated books as originals with no reference to the other version. So I found it quite interesting that in her review of the new book by Thiong'o in the Guardian, Maya Jaggi recently drew the readers' attention to the fact that Dreams in a Time of War is in fact a self-translation from the Gikuyu although it is not mentioned in the book. She finds this quite disturbing as in the past Thiong'o "has said that the most beautiful line in Wizard of the Crow, his satire on dictatorship, is: "A translation from Gikuyu by the author." (Jaggi 2010). So what has changed since then?

For further reading:
Maya Jaggi (2010): Dreams in a Time of War by Ngugi wa Thiong'o. In: Guardian, 03.07.2010. Online available here. In the last paragraph she discusses the issue of self-translation.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Bibliography on self-translation

An updated version of the bibliography is now availabe (43 pages!!)
Please check to download the new version.
Please also make use of the possibility in the comment section on their page to add further literature as the bibliography is a work in progress.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Meet Nancy Huston in Macon (France)

There are many chances to meet Nancy Huston at the moment as she is presenting her new book "Infrarouge". One being a picknick organised by the library Le Cadran lunaire in Macon on Saturday, 17th July at 7.30pm. For more information click here.

Friday, July 2, 2010

New book by Alexakis

"Le premier mot" is the title of the new book by Vassilis Alexakis which will be published in French by Editions Stock in August . I have not found yet any information about a Greek version. But as Alexakis is a regular self-translator, I am expecting to hear about a Greek version soon.

For more information on the new book, please click here.

Update: The Greek version will be published also this year!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Meet Thiong'o in Los Angeles

On Sunday, 25th July, you have the chance to meet the African self-translator Ngugi wa Thiong'o at the Downtown Independent Theater in Los Angeles. He will read from his new book "Dreams in a Time of War". For more information on the event, click here.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

André Brink on self-translation

NB publishers have published an interview with Andre Brink, conducted by Andrés publisher Kerneels Breytenbach in 2009. In the second part he speaks about his self-translations, a process which still fascinates him. The part on self-translation is from minute 01:49 till 03:15. To see the youtube video click here.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Author-Translator conference in Swansea

From 28th June till 1st July many researchers will discuss European authors as translators at the University of Swansea. Self-translation will be the subject of many presentations, too many to list here. An updated draft of the program has been published earlier this week, to see it click here.
To see the conference homepage, click here.

If anybody attends self-translation panels at the conference, please tell me about it!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Conference "The limits of literary translation"

The conference will take place from 24th to 25th June 2010 at the University of Oxford. The conference languages are English and Spanish. There will also be at least two presentations on self-translation:
  • 24th June at 3 p.m., room 10 B: “When a Self-translation Becomes Part of a Whole Rewriting Process or When Limits are Over. Notes d’un estudiant que va morir boig, from Sebastià Juan Arbó.” Josep Miquel Ramis (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain)
  • 25th June at 10 a.m., room 10B: “Sobre los límites de la traducción y los avatares de su recepción en la obra de ManuelRivas: ¿traducción autorial o alográfica?” María Obdulia Luis Gamallo (Universidadeda Coruña, Spain)
To see the full program as pdf, please click here.
To go to the conference homepage, please click here.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Conference on self-translation in Italy

From 10th to 12th november 2010 there will be a conference on self-translation in Italy.
The title of the conference is “Autotraduzione: teoria ed esempi fra Italia e Spagna (e oltre)”.
For full programme and registration, please see
The languages of the conference are Italian and Spanish.
I am very grateful that they also made publically available on their homepage a downloadable version of a comprehensive bibliography on self-translation byJulio César Santoyo:

Update 2013: The website is no longer available you find the latest version of the bibliography now always on this blog.

Flavia Company about her new self-translation

Flavia Company, a Catalan writer, talks in her blog about the self-translation of her new book L'illa de l'última veritat and discusses the possibility of changing the title of her book with her blog readers. Click here to enter the discussion.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Nancy Huston at Concordia University

Nancy Huston spoke at the Congress 2010 at the Concordia University on Sat May 29, 2010 at 12:15 to 13:15. Some impressions of her talk can be seen in a youtube video. The section on Nancy Huston is shown from minute 1:16 till 2:39.

For more information on the conference click here.

Nancy Huston in Montréal and Paris

Several chances to meet another self-translator:
Nancy Huston will present her new book "Infrarouge" on June 2nd at 6pm at the librarie Olivierie (5219 chemin Côte-des-Neiges) in Montréal and on June 8th at at 7pm at the institut finlandais in Paris and on 10th at 7pm at the library "l’arbre à lettres" (2 rue edouard Quenu) also in Paris.

To get an impression of the book, L'Express has published a few lines.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Sekiguchi in Toronto

The Japanese-French self-translator Ryoko Sekiguchi will participate in the translation festival "Found in translation" in Toronto on Friday 18th June at 8pm at the Japan Foundation (131 Bloor Street West, Suite 213). An English translation of her Japanese reading will be provided.
To view the entire program of the festival click here.

To know more about her self-translations see my blog entry from last year.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Self-translation: translation or rewriting?

I just read a very interesting interview with the Catalan writer Ferran Torrent, who insists that he does not translate his novels but that he rewrites them. In fact many authors who write two versions of the same books, don't like to call what they are doing "to translate". Here are some quotations:
  • The Catalan writer Carmen Riera: "„[D]ado que no creo en la traducción intento hacer una versión, lo cual significa para mí reescribir el texto en la nueva lengua […]“ (Carmen Riera (2002): La autotraducción como ejercicio de recreación. In: Quimera 210, pp. 11-12.)
  • The African writer André Brink: „However, I do not ‚translate‘ my books. I rewrite them in English or Afrikaans, sometimes alternating chapters and in the process reworking the original in the light of the changes made in the other language. This cross-pollination continues until I say ‚that is enough‘, otherwise I'd never finish a book.“ (André Brink: ‚We can only manage the world once it has been storified‘ – Interview with André Brink. In: Unisa Latin American Report 15:1, p. 43, PDF-page 45)
  • The Chicano writer Rolando Hinojosa: „He refers to the English and Spanish versions of his books not as translations, but as ‚renditions.‘ ‚I think I like to keep the flavor rather than just a word-by-word definition or translation. Because what won't fit in English -- or Spanish, since I've done both English and Spanish -- I try to give the nearest equivalent to it, say, a word-play or something like that,‘ he says.“ (Barbara Strickland (2007): Crossing Literary Borders. Rolando Hinojosa-Smith. In: The Austin Chronicle, 28.08.1997

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Traduction, auto-traduction et réécriture : Endgame, Lolita et Le Maître et Marguerite

Conference at the University in Paris 8 with Prof. Michaël Oustinoff, who wrote one of the few books on self-translation: "Bilingualisme d'écriture et auto-traduction: Julien Green, Samuel Beckett, Vladimir Nabokov"

18th March at 10 a.m.

Bibliothèque Universitaire : Salle des doctorants
Université de Paris 8
2, rue de la Liberté
93526 Saint-Denis

For more information:

Monday, February 15, 2010

Conference on self-translation in Belgium

From 16th to 19th february Prof. Grutman will discuss multilingualism in literature and self-translation with graduate students. The conference language is French. It will take place in Ghent and Leuven.

Here is the schedule:

Mardi 16 février 2010 - Gand

  • 10h-13h: “Le plurilinguisme et la traduction dans la galaxie des langues
  • 14h-17h: présentations par les doctorants

Mercredi 17 février 2010 - Gand

  • 10h-13h: “Traduire le plurilinguisme: défis, solutions, compromis”

Jeudi 18 février 2010 - Louvain

  • 10h-13h: “L'autotraduction, une arme à double tranchant”
  • 14h-17h: tutorat
  • Conférence de clôture

Vendredi 19 février 2010 - Louvain

  • 10h-12h: “Writing and Reading Diglossia”
For more information:,%20traduction%20et%20autotraduction.pdf