Literary Translation, Global Exchange, and Ethics of Hospitality
Talk by Literary Translator Aron Aji: Literary Translation, Global Exchange, and Ethics of Hospitality
In global literary exchange, translations into English are often considered either as a proof of ‘fame’ or as an entryway to broader and more diverse international reading markets. Given the volume and range of international literatures traded in/through English, the venues and networks that facilitate the exchange obtain significant roles in shaping the ethics and aesthetics of literary translation—from what gets translated to how, why and by whom. In this new context, the literary translator can resist the traditional call to make the original work read “as if written in English” and, instead, capitalize on the intrinsic mutability/hybridity of the English language so it can better express the aesthetics of other languages. Literary translation as such becomes a regenerative site for both the guest and the host languages.
This event is co-hosted by the Graduate Certificate in Translation Program and the Center for Creative Writing.
Aron Aji is the Director of MFA in Literary Translation at the University of Iowa. A native of Turkey, he has translated works by Bilge Karasu, Murathan Mungan, Elif Shafak, Latife Tekin, and other Turkish writers, including three book-length works by Karasu: Death in Troy; The Garden of Departed Cats, (2004 National Translation Award); and A Long Day’s Evening, (NEA Literature Fellowship, and short-listed for the 2013 PEN Translation Prize). His current project is a translation of Mungan’s collection of poetry, My Heart’s East (NEA Translation Fellowship). Aji also serves as the president of The American Literary Translators Association.