Introduction

Welcome to a web-site, established in July 2003, devoted to the art of literary translation. As few of its practitioners would deny, it is an art that is, at one and the same time, both impossible and imperative. Impossible because, self-evidently, no single word in one language can ever fully become the same word in another. Even that single original word, indeed, can fluctuate massively in meaning and implication, as terms like ‘love’, ‘freedom’, ‘truth’, ‘god’ in the English language, so amply demonstrate. But translation is imperative because, unless the attempt to find that other word in that other language is constantly made and re-invigorated, we all take a tiny step backwards towards a private, insular utterance that, at its ultimate extreme, is nothing more than a solipsistic grunt. And so, in its small way, this web-site is about the cultural leap of faith that all literary translation embodies, the belief that what one writer has said in a particular language can, and indeed must, be expressed in another, however imperfectly. That all of the words on this web-site, both original and translated, are now immediately accessible to a world-wide audience at the touch of a button, is the best confirmation possible that such leaps have now found a universal medium for their expression.

If this is your first visit to the site, you may find the SITE RATIONALE and ABOUT THE TRANSLATOR links helpful as a guide. The TRANSLATIONS section is obviously the centre of the site.


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Site last updated:  22 February 2014