If This Be Treason: Translation and Its Dyscontents

Front Cover
New Directions Publishing, Aug 29, 2006 - Biography & Autobiography - 189 pages
6 Reviews
A Los Angeles Times Favorite Book of the Year for 2005.

Gregory Rabassa's influence as a translator is tremendous. His translations of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude and Julio Cortazar's Hopscotch have helped make these some of the the most widely read and respected works in world literature. (Garcia Marquez was known to say that the English translation of One Hundred Years was better than the Spanish original.) In If This Be Treason: Translation and Its Dyscontents, Rabassa offers a cool- headed and humorous defense of translation, laying out his views on the translator's art. Anecdotal and always illuminating, Rabassa traces his career from a boyhood on a New Hampshire farm, his school days "collecting" languages, the two and a half years he spent overseas during WWII, and his South American travels, until one day "I signed a contract to do my first translation of a long work [Cortazar's Hopscotch] for a commercial publisher." Additionally, Rabassa offers us his "rap sheet," a consideration of the various authors and the over 40 works he has translated. This long-awaited memoir is a joy to read, an instrumental guide to translating, and a look at the life of one of its great practitioners.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - MarthaJeanne - LibraryThing

I enjoyed the introductory section, but the core of this book is Rabassa's descriptions of the various authors he has worked with and the books he has translated. Even without any knowledge of the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Rise - LibraryThing

"Translation is always a treason", said Okakura Kakuzo in The Book of Tea (1906), "and as a Ming author observes, can at its best be only the reverse side of a brocade—all threads are there, but not ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

The Many Faces Of Treason
In Pursuit Of Other Words
ii
Stringing Words Together By Culture
18
In The Beginning
22
Me And My Circumstance
29
Advance To Be Recognized
40
The Bill Of Particulars
49
Julio Cortázar
51
Juan Benet
123
Vinícius de Moraes
126
Luisa Valenzuela
129
Jorge Amado
132
Oswaldo França Júnior
138
António Lobo Antunes
141
José Donoso
147
Irene Vilar
151

Miguel Ángel Asturias
63
Clarice Lispector
70
Mario Vargas Llosa
75
Afrânio Coutinho
82
Juan Goytisolo
85
Manuel MujicaLáinez
90
Gabriel García Márquez
93
Dalton Trevisan
105
José Lezama Lima
108
Demetrio AguileraMalta
111
Osman Lins
116
Luis Rafael Sânchez
119
Mário De Carvalho
154
Joaquim Maria Machado Dee Assis
157
Ana Teresa Torres
162
Darcy Ribeiro
166
João De Melo
169
Jesús Zárate
172
Jorge Franco
175
Volodia Teitelboim
178
José Sarney
180
The Plays
183
How Say You?
188
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Gregory Rabassa (1922-2016) was the recipient of multiple prizes including a lifetime achievement award from the PEN American Center for contributions to Hispanic literature and a National Medal of Arts. He was the translator of One Hundred Years of Solitude, among other classic works.

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