Retranslating Literary Classics: A Panel on Cervantes, Montaigne, and Dostoevsky

Event Video: Retranslating Literary Classics: A Panel Discussion
Friday, March 7, 2014
11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Miller Theatre, 2960 Broadway (at 116th street)

A discussion with Edith Grossman, Richard Pevear, Larissa Volokhonsky and Wyatt Mason; Moderated by Susan Bernofsky.

This panel brings together four esteemed translators to discuss the process of retranslating a work of literature that has already been translated into multiple languages, often multiple times. Some opine that every generation needs a new translation of Homer, and this panel will discuss the literary and linguistic dynamics underlying that understanding as well as the endeavor of working with or against pre-existing translations.

Edith Grossman is one of the most well respected translators from Spanish to English. She spent most of her career translating Latin American authors such as Mario Vargas Llosa and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and more recently has undertaken works from Spain's Golden Age such as Gongora'sSoledades and Cervantes's Don Quixote. Her translation of the Quixote is read in the Literature Humanities course at Columbia.

Wyatt Mason is a critic, journalist, and translator. Modern Library published his two-volume translation of the complete works of Arthur Rimbaud, and his translations of Montaigne's essays have appeared in Threepenny Review. His criticism appears in the New York Review of Books, The London Review of Books and The New Yorker. He is a contributing editor of Harper’s, a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine, and Senior Fellow of the Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and the Humanities at Bard College.
Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky have translated many works together, beginning with Dostoevesky's The Brothers Karamazov. They have since re-translated the major works of Dostoevsky and Tolstoy, as well as works by Gogol, Leskov, Chekhov, and Bulgakov.Their translation of Crime and Punishment is taught in the Lit Hum course at Columbia.
Susan Bernofsky is a writer, translator from German, and Director of Literary Translation at Columbia (LTAC). Her new translation of Kafka's Metamorphosis comes out with Norton in January 2014. She is working on a biography of the Swiss writer Robert Walser, many of whose works she has translated.
Co-sponsored by the Friends of the Columbia University Libraries, the Center for the Core Curriculum, the Rare Book and Manuscript Library, the Harriman Institute, the Columbia Maison Française and the Hispanic Institute.
Event Video