As ever, the last weeks of winter and approaching joys of spring come with the promise of exciting translation events. Tonight, the Free Word Centre is hosting the debate ‘Whose News is it Anyway? Translation and Language in the Media’. A group of experts will discuss ”the use and abuse of translation in reporting daily international news in both mainstream and social media” including ”which linguistic communities are favoured by current media trends, what role ‘cultural’ translation has to play in journalism today, and how the unsaid is quietly being mastered.” It sounds fascinating, and tickets are only £5, available online here. To get yourself in the mood, here are some thoughts on the issue by the event’s convener Ollie Brock, also one of the Free Word Centre’s current translators-in-residence.
The London Review Bookshop has some top events coming up, too, including tomorrow evening’s ‘The Palm Beach Effect’, an evening of readings and conversation celebrating the work of poet, translator and critic Michael Hofmann, featuring the editors of ‘The Palm Beach Effect’, as well as the man himself. And if you feel like fine-tuning your erotic translation skills, on Friday 8th March the LRB will host ‘Live Translation — Translating Sex’ with Adriana Hunter and Polly McLean, followed by two masterclasses the next day, if you want to get hands on with the whole thing.
For Wednesday 6th March, the UCL German Department has arranged an event of readings by authors Andreas Martin Widmann and Daniela Dröscher, followed by discussion. The latter’s latest novel, Pola, was recently featured in New Books in German, and imagines a period in the life of Polish-born 1930s actress Pola Negri, former lover of Charlie Chaplin and Rudolph Valentino, as she returns from Hollywood to Germany on the eve of World War II. Tickets are free for the event, entitled ”Europe, endless”: Crossing Boundaries between Fiction and Literary Criticism in the 21st Century, but must be reserved here.
Speaking of Daniela Dröscher, the 2013 BCLT Summer School is now open for applications. The programme offers six language groups this year: the German one will be led by the lovely Katy Derbyshire and has managed to nab Dröscher as writer-in-residence. Having attended the summer school before, I would sign up again in a heartbeat if I could. A whole week of outstanding literature, inspiring company and delicious food — what’s not to like? The popular ‘Use Your Language, Use Your English’ workshop is also back for a third year and accepting applications now.
One last date for your diaries for now; on Friday 24th May, the award-winning translator Edith Grossmann will be in conversation with Daniel Hahn at the LRB as part their World Literature Series. I’m sure it will be fascinating, and it’s a rare opportunity to see Grossmann in the UK. I can’t make it, sadly, but for a very good reason — I’ll be in Berlin! More on that soon.