Edith Grossman

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Edith Grossman (born March 22, 1936) is an award-winning American Spanish-to-English literary translator. She is one of the most important translators of Latin American fiction in the past century, translating the works of Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa, Nobel laureate Gabriel García Márquez, Mayra Montero, Augusto Monterroso, Jaime Manrique, Julián Ríos and of Álvaro Mutis.

In a speech delivered at the 2003 PEN Tribute to Gabriel García Márquez, in 2003, she explained her method:

Fidelity is surely our highest aim, but a translation is not made with tracing paper. It is an act of critical interpretation. Let me insist on the obvious: Languages trail immense, individual histories behind them, and no two languages, with all their accretions of tradition and culture, ever dovetail perfectly. They can be linked by translation, as a photograph can link movement and stasis, but it is disingenuous to assume that either translation or photography, or acting for that matter, are representational in any narrow sense of the term. Fidelity is our noble purpose, but it does not have much, if anything, to do with what is called literal meaning. A translation can be faithful to tone and intention, to meaning. It can rarely be faithful to words or syntax, for these are peculiar to specific languages and are not transferable.[1]

She and Gregory Rabassa were given an unprecedented compliment from Gabriel García Márquez when he revealed that he prefers reading his own novels in their English translation.[2]

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Grossman now lives in New York City. She received a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, did graduate work at UC Berkeley, and received a Ph.D. from New York University. Her translation of Miguel de Cervantes's Don Quixote, published in 2003, is considered one of the finest translations of the Spanish masterpiece in the English language, praised by such author/critics as Carlos Fuentes and Harold Bloom.[3] She received the PEN/Ralph Manheim Medal for Translation in 2006. In 2010, Edith Grossman was awarded the Queen Sofia Spanish Institute Translation Prize for her 2008 translation of Antonio Muñoz Molina's A Manuscript of Ashes.

Selected translations[edit]

Miguel de Cervantes[edit]

Gabriel García Márquez[edit]

Mario Vargas Llosa[edit]

Ariel Dorfman[edit]

  • Last Waltz in Santiago and Other Poems of Exile and Disappearance, Penguin, 1988.
  • In Case of Fire in a Foreign Land: New and Collected Poems from Two Languages, Duke University Press, 2002

Mayra Montero[edit]

  • In the Palm of Darkness, HarperCollins, 1997.
  • The Messenger: A Novel, Harper Perennial, 2000.
  • The Last Night I Spent With You, HarperCollins, 2000.
  • The Red of His Shadow, HarperCollins, 2001.
  • Dancing to "Almendra": A Novel, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007.
  • Captain of the Sleepers: A Novel, Picador, 2007.

Álvaro Mutis[edit]

  • The Adventures of Maqroll: Three Novellas, HarperCollins, 1992.
  • The Adventures of Maqroll: Four Novellas, HarperCollins, 1995.
  • The Adventures and Misadventures of Maqroll, NYRB Classics, 2002.

Other Works[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Grossman, Edith. "Narrative Transmutations". PEN American Centre. Retrieved 13 October 2012. 
  2. ^ Padgett, Tim (October 8, 1990), "Battling over Bolívar's Soul", Newsweek 116 (15): 70, retrieved 2008-03-17 .
  3. ^ By Carlos Fuentes. "Tilt" New York Times 2 November 2003. Accessed 2010-08-04