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Translation as Transhumance


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Lauren Elkin is an award-winning American translator and writer living in Paris, and author of BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week 'Flaneuse: Women Walk the City'. With a translation of the original preface to the French edition and an afterword by Ros Schwartz. Selected by Gabriel Josipovici in Times Literary Supplement's Books of the Year 2017 Selected by Sophie Collins in The White Review Books of the Year 2018 Longlisted for the Jan Michalski Foundation Literature Prize 2013

About the Author

Mireille Gansel has published translations of a number of distinguished poets including Nelly Sachs, Peter Huchel, and the great contemporary poet Reiner Kunze, whose work she introduced to French readers, as well as letters by Paul Celan to Nelly Sachs. After living in Hanoi in the seventies, she published the first volume of classical Vietnamese poetry translated into French. For a long time she contributed to La Quinzaine Litteraire, the literary magazine founded by Maurice Nadeau. Her second and third books as an author, Une petite fenetre d'orand the poetry collection Comme une lettre, were published in France in 2017 by Editions La Cooperative, and her new volume of memoirs Maison d'ames is to be published in spring 2018. She is also the author of Larmes de neige(poems, 2006) and Chronique de la rue Saint-Paul(2010). Traduire comme transhumer (Calligrammes, 2012) has also been translated into German and Italian, and editions in several other languages are underway.


'A revelation.' - Kirkus Reviews; 'Translators like Gansel could be aligned with Platonists, committed to groping towards the elusive ur-truth of a literary work.... In this series of delicate memoir essays about living in translation and living as a translator, Gansel tunes herself most sensitively into many states of language, from dwelling in a mother tongue to opening ways of surviving in exile and estrangement.' - Marina Warner, London Review of Books; 'This beautiful and moving meditation on her life's work by a renowned translator, though extremely short, yields a history not just of twentieth-century poetry but of that dark century itself, from the rise of the Nazis to the American bombing of North Vietnam, and yields too a rare insight into the nature of language and the splendours and limitations of translation.' - Gabriel Josipovici; 'In this memoir of a translator's adventures, Mireille Gansel shows us what it means to enter another language through its culture, and to enter the life of another culture through its language. A sensitive and insightful book, which illuminates the difficult, and often underestimated task of translation-and the role of literature in making for a more interconnected and humane world.' - Eva Hoffman, author of Lost in Translation: A Life in a New Language; 'Imagine watching the entire flock of migrating monarchs; hundreds of thousands of orange and black pixels creating a mountain in the negative space of their movement. Through tireless effort, sensitivity to history and nuance, deep research into the original artist and landscape, and, finally, "the conviction that no word that speaks of what is human is untranslatable," the translator shows us trees where there are no trees, and leads us over the contours of terrain we will never climb.' - Josh Cook, Los Angeles Review of Books

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