If This Be Treason: Translation And Its Discontent Hardcover – Apr 5 2005
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"The leading U.S. translator of Latin American literature."
About the Author
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I cannot think of another who has had such an impact on Latin American literature. Through him English-speakers, worldwide, have been able to appreciate the works of such notable authors as: Octavio Paz, Miguel Angel Asturias, Julio Cortázar, Mario Vargas Llosa, Jorge Amado, Antönio Lobo Antunes, and, of course, Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
When I discovered that Mr. Rabassa had written a memoir, "If This Be Treason: Translation And Its Dyscontents-A Memoir," I couldn't wait to read it. I have done so, and enjoyed every page. Not only does he discuss his own fascinating life, he writes about so many talented authors, whose books I have loved, and his collaboration with them. His writing style is conversational, witty, and provocative in its honesty. One feels as if seated at the table with him, over a good cup of coffee or a bottle of wine, listening to tales of the people, anecdotes and incidents which have been so important in his life.
Also included are essays on the writers he has worked with and the books he has brought into English. These memoirs make for an excellent read - especially for those who have loved the novels Gregory Rabassa has translated. Kudos to the author!!
It is only as I have grown older that I realize that the meaning behind the words or between the lines is as important as the words themselves. It is a skill all its own to take the writing of someone else and faithfully produce a new work with a meaning as close as possible to what the original author was trying to say.
This is compounded when the setting of the original work is so different than that of the intended reader. For instance the Spanish heritage in Latin America being translated to the world of the United States. Every aspect from life, from the law, from the history needs to be considered.
Perhaps the untimate compliment comes to the translator when the author says that the translation is better than the original - as Garcia Marquez has said of his book "One Hundred Years" as translated by Gregory Rabassa.